Belfast Software Company Leads In Biometric Security

An innovative ‘Biometric Engine’ has been developed by Core Systems with Invest Northern Ireland assistance that enables companies to upgrade security using the latest biometric technologies such as fingerprints and hand geometry.

The new software system, developed with support from Invest NI’s Compete programme for R&D, is already attracting inquiries from public bodies and organisations outside Northern Ireland. The interest has included an invitation to present the technology at the influential American Correctional Association Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina next year.

Patricia O’Hagan, Managing Director of Core Systems, says: “The engine is a software system that we’ve designed to enable organisations to select the most suitable biometric technology for their particular needs.  It makes the latest security technology more accessible and easier for people to apply.

“The system is based on our longstanding experience in biometric identity management for public sector bodies in the United Kingdom.  Invest NI assistance in developing the engine has been invaluable.

“We’ve also been assisted by Invest NI’s Trade team and by the agency’s Technology and Development Centre in Boston.  They have supported us in our market research and helped pinpoint key people in US federal and state organisations, including the Department of Homeland Security.”

“Feedback from the contacts we’ve made and from presentations at public sector events has been extremely positive. We are now following up these contacts,” she adds.

In addition to assistance from the Compete programme, Core Systems has been helped in staff development through Invest NI’s Company Development Programme.  The company has recently achieved formal recognition as an Investor In People.

Terri Scott, Invest NI’s Managing Director of Clients and Entrepreneurship, recently visited the company, which employs 18 people at its offices in North City Business Park, Duncairn Gardens, north Belfast.

She says: “The launch of the Biometric Engine is timely. Organisations worldwide are searching for effective security solutions and looking closely at biometrics. As a result, there are extensive global market opportunities for a company such as Core Systems which is able to offer a means to integrate biometric technology.

“The company is part of the Northern Ireland computer industry, which has been identified by Invest NI as having high growth potential. According to recent research, this industry contributes around £81million – two-thirds – of exports from companies in tradeable services. Core Systems was among the top 15 award winners from Northern Ireland in the 2005 Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Awards, marking the company as one of the 50 fastest growing technology companies in Ireland.

“The sector has significant expertise and has substantial potential for faster growth. We are encouraging growth by providing support through a number of programmes, including Compete for the commercialisation of R&D projects, and by our Trade activities. Core, for instance, was among a group of local companies assisted by Invest NI to take part in the FOSE in Washington, the primary exhibition and conference event for public sector procurement in the US,” she adds.