After three years of co-operation, a group of experts including Bundesdruckerei GmbH, Bayer MaterialScience and the Fraunhofer institutes IZM, IAP and EMFT, brought the “SECUDIS” joint research project to a successful conclusion. As part of this project, security components for ID documents have been researched and developed which will be used in future product developments.
At the end of the SECUDIS project, the partners expressed their satisfaction with the results of the project. The abbreviation stands for “SECUre Digital Identity Solutions – innovative systems for future high-security applications”. Over a period of three years, the project partners joined forces to research and develop security components for user-friendly ID and security documents. The focus of this collaboration was always centred around the demands of the digital age: security, trust, mobility, lifestyle, added value and user-friendliness.
“At the end of the project, we have created a building kit of innovative technologies and components. This includes, for instance, flexible, organic LEDs (OLEDs), organic transistors on polycarbonate, ultra-thin flexible silicon chips, new antenna technologies, innovative foils, interactive touch technologies, as well as dynamic security features and multi-functional inlays,” explains Jörg Fischer, expert for flexible electronics at Bundesdruckerei and co-ordinator of the SECUDIS project.
Preventing smart card manipulation
Tomorrow’s ID documents or EC cards will have to be multi-functional, so that they can be used in both the analogue world and in the digital world. The solution to this is system-on-document technology. Future documents will also comprise a complex system with security chip, antenna, high-frequency energy supply, sensor and display. The components needed to implement this were researched in the SECUDIS project. Interaction between organic and inorganic semi-conductors had a key role to play in this work.
The experts also examined if and how ultra-thin, flexible silicon chips and energy-efficient displays can be integrated into new ID documents and how contactless identification technologies can be used in ultra-thin materials. The integration of interactive input elements also formed part of the project. The project took first steps into research in the field of multi-functional documents, the development of applications for easy and secure use of interactive documents, as well as unique new verification systems. One result of the project is a completely new smart card design where the PIN is entered directly on the card. This means that skimming attacks, i.e. PIN theft using manipulated computers or cash machines, can be effectively prevented.
Backed by BMBF
As part of the federal government’s high-tech strategy and the “Information and Communication Technology 2020” (IKT 2020) programme, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) backed the SECUDIS project and provided funding of around €6.6m. One of the aims of the IKT 2020 programme is to open up the economic potential of security technology developed in Germany even for the global market. Due to the high security standard, there is already considerable international demand for suitable developments and projects made in Germany.