WASHINGTON, DC — January 24, 2002 — The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has named Joy Nicholas of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and Pam Stegeman of the Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) to co-chair MIT’s Electronic Product Code Alliance.

The alliance is a coalition of nonprofit groups supporting MIT’s Auto-ID Center, which is developing a revolutionary technology to give individual items a unique Electronic Product Code (EPC). With this technology, an EPC is embedded in a microchip on each item. RF transmitters in each chip can then communicate the product’s location, cost and even cooking instructions throughout the supply chain — from the manufacturer to the store to the consumer’s kitchen.

The EPC alliance’s primary mission is to identify the technical and operational issues that must be resolved to make sure this technology works in the marketplace. It is currently performing an independent assessment of the technology’s first live test at distribution centers and two retail outlets, a Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart store, in Tulsa, OK.

The EPC and Auto-ID technology will be showcased at the SuperTechMart pavilion at the 2002 FMI May Show May 5-7 in Chicago, IL.

Nicholas serves as FMI vice president of research and emerging technologies and Stegeman as GMA vice president of industry affairs.