2 August 2013
University of Warwick spin-out Warwick Warp has been approved by the Indian government to supply its fingerprint technology to the largest biometric data-gathering project in the world.
The company has undergone the rigorous accreditation process needed to take part in the scheme, called the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India). Through the UIDAI, every citizen in India can record their biometric information and get a unique ID number. This allows them to access services, including government aid, more easily, and enables the government to reduce costs and fraud.
Put together initially by a group of India’s wealthy entrepreneurs, the scheme – which is optional – has been widely welcomed, and has now been adopted by the Indian government. More than 450 million people, from a population of 1.2 billion, have already enrolled.
Citizens accessing the scheme provide biometric data including fingerprints and iris scans, as well as some basic biographical information.
Warwick Warp, which spun out in 2006 with assistance from Warwick Ventures, will be supplying its innovative fingerprint recognition software through a partnership with device manufacturer Futronic and local partner Anaxee Technologies. The first step towards this was to gain certification from the Standardisation Testing and Quality Certification (STQC) Directorate. This is necessary to ensure all the equipment and software needed to record and use the biometric data will work seamlessly.
Stewart Hefferman, who became Warwick Warp’s new CEO earlier this year, says: “The watchword for all these projects is ‘interoperability’ – that’s the key to opening up these markets. Meeting the STQC standards increases competition and drives prices down, but it also shows a maturity in the market that we’re working in and demonstrates that the projects have long-term sustainability.”
Hefferman has also put the company through the US’s accreditation scheme, called MINEX (Minutiae Interoperability Exchange Test), which is an international standard for software development. Both accreditations are an important part of Hefferman’s growth strategy for Warwick Warp as it seeks to ramp up its commercial activities.