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Development of a Continous Sweep RF Harmonic Spectral Analysis Detector

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Minimising intellectual property theft affordably

Intellectual property (IP) theft refers to the purposeful use of electronic devices to obtain, store and transfer confidential information. It has become rampant in the age of computerised data management and is a growing threat to the competitiveness of many European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Digital Economy

Specifically, the 750,000 hi-tech SMEs in the EU produce 120,000 new patent applications annually and consider their IP to be worth 82 % of their business value. The only currently available countermeasure to IP theft costs around EUR 48,000 annually, more than most SMEs can afford. In addition to the hi-tech firms and their obvious IP, other SMEs vulnerable to IP theft include the 120,000 SME law firms, 250,000 SME accounting firms and 200,000 SME insurance companies. Theft results in everything from investment fraud to false insurance claims to embezzlement. The ‘Development of a continous sweep RF harmonic spectral analysis detector’ (Safetalk) project was designed to produce a walk-through portal capable of detecting a variety of electronic devices used for IP theft. Detection and identification of such devices enables subsequent prevention of their owners from entering sensitive areas and thus drives down IP theft. The Safetalk project resulted in the delivery of an affordable detection and identification system with the potential to greatly enhance the competitiveness of Europe’s SMEs. In addition, the system has the potential to protect European citizens against unlawful use of their personal information. Finally, the system should offer a competitive advantage to European manufacturers of surveillance and counter surveillance equipment, helping to put them in the running with large North American suppliers in this lucrative and growing sector of the economy.

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