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TechConnect will host Biometrics Forum next week


The Times West Virginian reported there will be a forum next week determining how to move West Virginia’s biometrics industry forward.

The Biometrics Forum, called “Next Steps in Identity Technologies: Biometrics and Beyond,” will take place next Wednesday, June 20, at the Robert H. Mollohan Research Center in Fairmont’s I-79 Technology Park.

Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and the program will run until 12:30 p.m.

TechConnect is hosting the event, and Computer Sciences Corporation and Innovative Management & Technology Approaches (IMTAS) are sponsoring.

“As an industry, biometrics can be a huge driver in West Virginia’s economy,” said Anne Barth, executive director of TechConnectWV. “This forum was developed to discuss the status of the industry and what, we as stakeholders, need to do to help it continue to grow.”

Barth said CSC is helping TechConnect explore opportunities and potential areas of development in the biometrics sector. Biometrics is one of the four targeted technology areas that TechConnect is focused on, after a study conducted by the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice a few years ago.

“The idea is to bring together the entities and the individuals who are working in this area in this sector to help figure out how we can best spur private-sector growth in biometrics,” she said.

West Virginia already has a strong government presence in biometrics, and Barth says the area would like to see more private-sector spin-offs from that activity.

Steve Hooks, directory of the CSC Identity Labs, told the Times West Virginian there is a need to develop more private-sector jobs to augment or complement the government jobs already present. He notes that the biometrics industry has been a big economic driver over the past 10 to 15 years and has led to development and job creation in the area, and that the forum will provide an opportunity for the industry to talk about the government contracting arena and its future.

“It’s a good opportunity for TechConnect to assess where we are with biometrics and what happens next moving forward,” she said. “We have a lot of biometrics brain power in West Virginia.”

The forum has a very attractive registration rate of just $20. Registration and more information is available online at www.techconnectwv.org.

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