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DNA TRUSTAG - A paradigm shift in authentication technologies

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - DNA TRUSTAG (DNA TRUSTAG - A paradigm shift in authentication technologies)

Reporting period: 2017-01-01 to 2017-05-31

The introduction of counterfeit goods in distribution chains is reaching epidemic proportions. Counterfeit goods now encompass all industrial sectors, including pharmaceuticals, electronic goods, cosmetics, automotive spare parts, pesticides, food and beverages. Counterfeit products are becoming more refined and there are an increasing number of cases, where even manufacturers are not able to distinguish fake from original. Clearly there is a need for new and innovative anti-counterfeit and brand protection technologies. The main goal of this feasibility project was to study the technical and commercial feasibility of an innovative DNA-based authentication technology for brand and product protection. The DNA TRUSTAG platform enables cost-effective and scalable production of composite nanoparticles containing unique DNA codes (impossible to forge), which generate reading signals similar to a barcoded label. The composite nanoparticles are used to mark and authenticate raw materials and a range of products directly in the production line. Overall, it is concluded that the implementation and commercialization of the DNA based authentication technology is feasible.
The technical and commercial feasibility of the technology was tested under industrial conditions and in the international market. Technical challenges and the means to solve then were identified. Within the anti-counterfeit and brand protection technologies preferential market segments were assessed. As part of the exploitation activities, a showcase of the project was presented to key stakeholders that included companies willing to authenticate their products and companies that commercialize anti-counterfeit/brand protection technologies. Detail description of the tests carried-out and companies that were contacted is available in the feasibility report. A SME 2 phase proposal will contemplate two pilots with two global players in two strategic areas: brand protection (package authentication) and supply chain security (raw materials tracing). Combined, these companies have an estimate production of 18 billion products year and a turnover > 1.1 billions euros in 2016.
Traditional, anti-counterfeit technologies based on physical methods, such as holograms, security inks and labels, barcodes and radio-frequency identification are vulnerable, thus being frequently counterfeited. DNA TRUSTAG goes beyond the state -of-the-art in providing a cost-effective DNA-based authentication platform that can be used to secure the whole distribution chains, from raw materials to finish products.
Industrial and commercial counterfeiting currently represents a real threat to both the global economy and the stability of States. DNA TRUSTAG technology will address key Europe 2020 challenges such as secure society (supply chain and infrastructure security), thus reinforcing the security of Europe and its citizens.