The work of a national biometric research center founded by West Virginia University that harnesses the ideas and talents of academia, government agencies and private industry has been singled out in a new report issued by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The Center for Identification Technology Research, that includes WVU, Clarkson University and the University of Arizona, is a National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center with a mission to advance identification technology research. The Center also helps generate a biometric workforce for addressing the nation’s security needs.

The Center’s work is strongly focused in the areas of biometric systems and human credibility assessment. The Center was noted in a new report – The National Biometrics Challenge – issued by the National Science and Technology Council that recognizes recent advances and identifies America’s next biometric research priorities.

Chaired by the president of the United States, the Council is the principal means by which the executive branch coordinates science and technology policy across the diverse entities that make up the federal research and development enterprise. The report itself was authored by a subcommittee of the Council consisting of biometric experts from various federal agencies.

The report drew attention to the Center for its pursuit of research that “resulted in key publications, research challenge progress and the training of students at all levels in biometrics. Graduates from these programs have gone on to directly support federal and industry system development efforts.”

Bojan Cukic, director of WVU CITeR, said the Center’s portfolio of activities “include cross-cutting research of emerging enabling technologies, interdisciplinary training of scientists and engineers, and facilitation of technology transfer to the private and government sectors through its affiliates.”

Arun Ross, assistant director of WVU CITeR, said more than 80 proof-of-concept projects tightly coupled to industry and government needs have been executed by the Center.

“To be mentioned in the National Biometrics Challenge document is a clear indication that CITeR is making significant contributions to national security by harnessing the power of biometrics through a strong partnership involving academic institutions, private industry and government,” Ross said.
LaRue Williams, director of Homeland Security Programs at WVU, said the report, and its inclusion of CITeR’s work, is important because it will help guide upcoming policy decisions related to national security, the use of biometrics, and privacy issues. She said the report would inform government agencies of biometrics successes so that funding can be accurately directed and policies on civil liberties promoted.

Each CITeR University site maintains interdisciplinary collaborative partnerships with other academic institutions to effectively respond to affiliate research needs. WVU focuses on the fundamentals of biometrics and related identification technology and systems. The University of Arizona performs research on credibility assessment systems while Clarkson University, currently designated as the lead institution in CITeR, focuses on biometric vulnerabilities and intelligence.

Examples of successful projects that led to the recognition of CITeR’s impact include work on biometric fusion, iris, fingerprint and face recognition, biometric performance modeling, and methods for quickly searching large biometric databases to locate an individual.

Both private sector and government agencies make up the CITeR affiliate board that funds, drives, and shapes the shared research portfolio of the Center.



CONTACT: Arun Ross, Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

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