Mission, Vision, History
To create and extend knowledge in RFID utilization and its impacts on business and society.
To be an internationally recognized leader in RFID application research.
In June 2003, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. asked its top 100 suppliers to begin tagging products at the pallet and case level by January 2005. This initiative, along with as similar move by the Department of Defense, jump-started an entire industry centered on production and optimal application of RFID technology. The University of Arkansas and over 30 industry-leading companies have joined forces to support a multidisciplinary, neutral, third-party research and testing facility, the newly formed RFID Research Center, a sub-unit of the Information Technology Research Institute (ITRI) at the University's Sam M. Walton College of Business.
The RFID Research Center officially opened its laboratory, located in the Fayetteville Industrial Park, on June 10, 2005; receiving total commitments of cash and gifts-in-kind dedicated toward the RFID Research Center totaling $2 million. The lab was formally approved by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education and began operations on February 4, 2005.
In September 2005, the RFID Research Center laboratory became one of only four labs worldwide - and the only academic lab - to receive Performance Test Center accreditation from EPCglobal, Inc. EPCglobal leads the development of industry-driven standards for the Electronic Product Code to support the use of FRID in today's fast-moving, information-rich trading network.
Leveraging multidisciplinary expertise across the University of Arkansas, the RFID Research Center also has collaborative relationships with the College of Engineering, including the departments of computer science and computer engineering, industrial engineering, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering; the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, including the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies and the department of public policy; the Dale Bumpers College of Agriculture, Food and Life Sciences, including the department of food science; and the School of Law.
The location of the RFID Testing Center also provides the lab the ability to work with some of the foremost companies in the USA and the world. Dr. Bill Hardgrave, holder of the Edwin and Karlee Bradberry Chair and director of the RFID Research Center, said "We are located within one hour of the world's largest retailer; the world's largest producer of protein products; the nation's largest publicly traded truckload carrier; the largest and third largest less-than-truckload carriers in the U.S.; and hundreds of offices from some of the world's largest companies. This positions us at the forefront of RFID research."