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Dayton RFID Convergence Center faces uncertain future

The Dayton RFID  Convergence Center is scrambling to find a new business model that will boost revenues for the center after contributions from member companies were lower than expected.

According to the Dayton Daily News, the center will remain open while Dayton city government and its development arm, CityWide Development, try to determine a sustainable business model. The  center’s executive director and chief executive, Brad Proctor, will leave his day-to-day management role, but he has pledged to help with what he and others called a “transition” to a sustainable model.

Two associates of Proctor’s at the center have been laid off.

Part of a regional effort to grow the emerging RFID sector in southwestern Ohio, the center resides in a $6 million state-of-the-art facility in Dayton’s Tech Town development. Current member companies include FireSense ID, Legal Data Recovery and Pelican Technologies. Affiliate members include Electronic System Innovators and Comtactics.

The city of Dayton initially invested $1.4 million in the RFID Center.

Here is an excerpt from the Dayton Daily article:

The center’s original model was first developed in 2005, during a very different economy, Proctor said in the conference with Shelley Dickstein, assistant Dayton city manager, and Steve Nutt, CityWide director of strategic development.

Since then, the economy has fallen into the worst recession since the Great Depression, and grant money for the center’s member businesses — usually start-ups seeking new commercial uses for RFID technology — has “dried up,” Proctor said. The center’s business model depends on royalties shared from member companies who rely on the center as an incubator.

“The revenue at the center is not supporting or sustaining the current management team,” Dickstein said.

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