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What inspired this Center?

With its strong position and considerable expertise in the field of biometrics, Idiap has undertaken the duty to create a biometrics research center that aims to bring together all the actors in the field of biometrics domain for the purpose of training, research and technology transfer.

Idiap Reseach InstituteAs an independent, nonprofit, research foundation affiliated with Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Idiap is actively engaged in Swiss and European research activities in many years, covering a wide range of domains, including biometrics, as the coordinator or a partner of research and development projects. In the past 12 years, Idiap was involved in 19 biometrics research project, including 3 coordinated by Idiap and representing a total fund flow of about 5 million Swiss francs.

The 3 research projects, MOBIO, TABULA RASA and BEAT, coordinated successfully by Idiap did not only play a key role in the institute's establishment as a key figure in biometrics research in Switzerland, Europe and worldwide; but they also paved the way to the idea of initiating the Swiss Center for Biometrics Research and Testing.

The creation of this Center combines and validates the efforts of MOBIO, TABULA RASA and BEAT. The configuration of this new center reflects the values of these predecessor projects – facilitating collaboration between industry and academia. By creating such a structure, the Idiap Research Institute ensures an environment of mutual benefit: Industry partners gain unparalleled access to cutting-edge researchers and their expertise, while researchers have the opportunity to bid for funding from driven and relevant organisations.

Through this multidisciplinary environment, it is expected that both academic and industrial organisations in the domain will enjoy a golden age of biometric development, leading to rapid improvements in current biometric technology and the realization of novel technologies.

What is biometrics?
Biometrics is the science of measuring and analyzing biological characteristics of humans for authentication purposes. Offering a more convenient way to identify an individual than passwords or badges, biometric security systems such as e-passports are becoming increasingly common.
While research on biometrics focuses on the recognition aspect and strives to make progress in:
it also takes other related matters in hand, such as:
  • soft biometrics (eye color, height, tattoos, etc.),
  • age or gender estimation from biometric samples,
  • facial expression recognition,
  • spoofing and anti-spoofing,
  • encryption of biometric data and template protection.
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