Funder: EC Project Code: 862315
Funder Contribution: 150,000 EUR
Partners: University of Luxembourg
Product counterfeiting, sometimes related to the theft of the original, has emerged as a significant economic issue, with the market value of pirated products equalling or exceeding the gross domestic product of some European countries. A 2016 report from OECD in cooperation with the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) found that in 2013 counterfeit products sold were worth €375 billion, totalling 2.5% of global trade. Counterfeit products range from high-end consumer luxury goods, to business-to-business products such as machines, chemicals, raw materials or spare parts, and to common consumer products such as toys, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and food. Some counterfeit products, in particular in the latter category but also, e.g., spare parts, are of low quality, thus creating additional health and safety threats. Valuable raw materials can be stolen at the site of production or in transit, sometimes being replaced by a copy that can be difficult to detect as such by the receiver, sometimes reappearing on the market with no means to detect them as stolen. VALIDATE aims to investigate the commercial feasibility of Cholesteric Spherical Reflectors (CSRs) coatings as high-security identification tags, within a work plan that aims to take our innovation from a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 4 to 6/7. This will serve as a key stepping stone towards full commercial exploitation of our CSRs as a game-changing material for authentication. The value proposition of VALIDATE is a physical identifier tag that is effectively unclonable as a result of the manufacturing process, naturally tamper-evident and hard to simulate due to the complexity of the generated patterns. VALIDATE’s end goal is to have a comprehensive description of the commercial feasibility of our technology and, if positive, what commercialization route has the best risk/benefit ratio.