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RFID Research Center to move to larger facility

The RFID Research Center at the University of Arkansas is getting bigger and better. The Center is moving into its own dedicated 20,000 square-foot facility, roughly doubling its current footprint.

It marks the first time that the RFID Research Center will have its own dedicated facility. The new center will replace the existing location inside Hanna’s Candle Factory on the south side of Fayetteville, Ark.

Officials plan to celebrate the center’s seven-year anniversary and unveil the design plans for the facility on June 12. The new facility is expected to be fully operational for a grand opening in the fall.

“With the explosion of the radio frequency identification industry in the past year, we’ve seen a corresponding increase here in research activity, technology interest and educational needs,” said Justin Patton, the research center’s managing director. “Having a larger facility of our own we can fully meet RFID demands and be ready for several other technologies on the near horizon.”

A tag testing structure inside the RFID Research Center in Arkansas.

The expanded facility will allow the Center to improve its demonstration, research and laboratory areas, as well as providing new areas for education. The entire supply chain will be represented, from receiving of raw materials through manufacturing of products, to the moving of those products through distribution centers and several retail store formats and ultimately to the consumer.

Since the Center’s research mission will expand along with its footprint, areas for the study of emerging supply chain and retail technologies are also planned. The new facility also will house testing areas for University of Arkansas RFID Research Center board member companies and associated businesses.

“The new RFID space will allow us to strategically expand and to do things that were not possible not only in RFID, but also in the retail technologies area in general,” said Moez Limayem, the Walton College associate dean for research and graduate programs. “Moreover, we will be able to better serve our internal and external stakeholders. It will definitely enhance the RFID center’s national and international leadership in education, research and outreach.”

The center was founded in 2005 as part of the Information Technology Research Institute in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas after receiving more than $2 million in cash and in-kind donations. More than 30 companies joined forces to found the research center with the University of Arkansas to support a multidisciplinary, neutral, third-party research and testing facility.

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