MIT and Johnson & Johnson representatives elected to lead GS1 EPCglobal Board

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Sanjay Sarma, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor, and Mike Rose, Vice President of Supply Chain Visibility for Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems, Inc., have been elected chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the EPCglobal Board of Governors. Their appointments were announced yesterday by GS1, a not-for-profit organisation that designs and manages the global GS1 System of supply chain standards.

EPCglobal, an affiliate organisation of GS1, is driving the adoption of industry-driven standards that support the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) for real-time, automatic identification of information in the supply chain. EPCglobal standards, including the Electronic Product Code (EPC), are designed to increase visibility and efficiency throughout the supply chain, by ensuring a higher quality of information flow between companies and their key trading partners. 

“Sanjay has been an integral part of EPC’s development since its inception, bringing his connection with the world-class innovation capacities at MIT, while Mike has been driving the adoption of EPC/RFID for many years and brings industry insights and expertise critical to providing visibility and efficiency to business processes”, said Paul Voordeckers, President, Industry Engagement & EPCglobal at GS1.

Sarma is one of the original founders of the Auto-ID Center at MIT, which developed the original Electronic Product Code. In 2003 the Auto-ID Center evolved into two organisations: EPCglobal, charged with achieving worldwide adoption and standardization,  and the Auto-ID Labs, charged with continued development of EPC technology. As professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, Sarma continues to lead the Auto-ID Lab at MIT, as well as serving on the GS1 US Board of Governors and being a permanent guest of the Management Board of GS1. 

Rose has served on the EPCglobal Board for seven years. With his 35 years of experience at Johnson & Johnson, he has provided EPCglobal with invaluable industry input and guidance. As Vice President of Supply Chain Visibility at Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems, Inc., he has been a key leader in the adoption of GS1 standards in the healthcare sector, driving the improvement of supply chain efficiency, traceability and patient safety. 

“EPCglobal standards and technologies have grown to be vital enablers of global supply chains across many industries,” said Rose.

Sarma replaces Dick Cantwell, Chairman of the GS1 EPCglobal Board of Governors for eight years and prior to that, Chairman of the Board of Overseers of the original Auto-ID Center since its foundation. Over 12 years, Cantwell, Vice President, Internet Business Solutions Group, at Cisco Systems, has helped lead the adoption of EPCglobal standards across industries, including the successful implementation of EPC/RFID within his own company, Cisco Systems.

“Billions of EPC tags are used worldwide today. Dick’s leadership and vision have been driving forces in bringing the EPC to its current state,” said Sarma.


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