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  • Higher Education Smart Campus Association

    HESCA's aim is to provide Higher Education establishments with a platform for debate on smart card technology issues relevant to their business objectives.

    HESCA endeavours to provide an opportunity to explore the technology in detail; the standards, software, hardware, applications and integration, aiming to develop a mechanism by which a series of cost-effective solutions is available to its members.

    HESCA meetings, each of a full day's duration, take place quarterly. They include a number of presentations from British and international specialists, and provide valuable opportunities for members to explore the smart card marketplace in a non-sales environment.

    Themed full-day quarterly Forum meetings have several specialist-led sessions, with ample breaks for networking.  In the background, voluntary working groups are being established to consider topical issues, and to submit written recommendations to the members of HESCA.

    What a member says:

    “HESCA meetings have offered an invaluable opportunity to obtain insight into the world of smart card technology and the variety of potential applications.  As the group is attended by colleagues from other HEIs, there is also an opportunity for networking and to share issues and solutions.”

    David Manfield, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff

    Hesca Supplier Directory - for the latest HESCA service for HEI's seeking suppliers for their smart campus card projects (under construction).

  • 2016 Meetings

    Smartex Forum meetings, whilst planned in advance in terms of overall themes, are designed to cover important topics of the moment, whether technical or operational.

    A number of subject areas have already been identified as being relevant for consideration and debate during 2016.  These are set out below, within each of our Forums.  They are naturally subject to change, depending upon the status of the various market sectors at the time of the meetings.

    HESCA meets quarterly.  Amongst the topics and activities that we shall be addressing are:

    • Development and progress of the HESCA Starter Pack for integrated supplier products
    • Developing an effective attendance monitoring system to support a student retention strategy
    • Smart campus schemes as part of an ID Assurance programme
    • New techniques for card issuance processes and procedures
    • The potential impact of NFC mobiles on smart campus card schemes
    • The use of biometrics in HEI/FEIs: products, software, standards and choices
    • Towards the cashless campus: products and challenges: do bank cards have a role?
    • The business and financial cases and plans for introducing cashless campus routines
    • Presentations by e-payment system providers: open or closed-loop?
    • The emerging new generation of physical access control system architectures
    • Using smart campus card schemes for logical and system access control
    • Supporting innovative new functions with existing smart campus card schemes
    • Case studies from UK and overseas smart campus card schemes
    • Development of statements of best practice for HEI/FEIs
    • Successful strategies for card migration to a higher security form factor
    • HESCA16: Glasgow selected for annual two-day regional conference and exhibition

    Meeting Dates and Agendas

  • 7th and 8th March 2017

    Cardiff Marriott Hotel, Mill Lane, Cardiff CF10 1EZ

    Understanding the coming technological revolution in smart campus schemes


    HESCA (the Higher Education Smart Campus Association) has pleasure in inviting you and/or a colleague to attend HESCA17, its annual two-day conference and exhibition, taking place at the prestigious Cardiff Marriott Hotel on 7th – 8th March 2017.

    Kindly supported by Cardiff Metropolitan University, HESCA17 is the latest in a series of similar successful events that Smartex has run over the past 7 years in Southampton, Nottingham, Cambridge, Great Missenden, Brighton, Warwick and Glasgow.

    Attendance at HESCA17 is free-of-charge to invited non-member HEIs and FEIs (one delegate only – see terms below) and to HESCA members (attendance on both days counts as one day of entitled membership attendance).  Other non-members may attend at a cost of only £200 per day per delegate.

    Why attend HESCA17?

    Don't miss this unique opportunity to:

    • Find out why smartphones, biometrics, IoT and geolocation will soon become important technologies on campuses worldwide, and how these can be successfully implemented
    • Attend our workshops and learn from expert practitioners about the practical considerations governing successful implementation of the latest smart campus applications and methodologies
    • Develop an effective smart card migration strategy, and understand the impact of the new MIFARE DESfire EV2 Platform
    • Learn from HEI/FEIs themselves how they have designed and implemented so many smart card-enabled functions, and obtain vital tips and tricks for successful card design, deployment and use on your own campus
    • Meet leading technology and solutions suppliers, and learn about their latest product and service offers

    The conference:
    Understanding the coming technological revolution in smart campus schemes

    To be held over two days, the conference is planned to cover: 

    • Day 1: Looking ahead to tomorrow’s smarter campus
      • Session 1: Opening address from Cardiff Metropolitan University
      • Session 2: Biometrics – taking advantage of the emerging era of biometric authentication and authorisation
      • Session 3: Access control – integrated solutions and wireless operation
      • Session 4: The Cloud and IoT – saving money and time with Cloud computing and IoT
      • Session 5: Room utilisation and energy management – maximising efficiency and monitoring usage
      • Session 6: Attendance monitoring and recording – seeking cost-effective, campus-inclusive solutions
      • Session 7: Learning from USA/Europe – no-one has a monopoly on modernisation
      • Session 8: Migrating to mobile – it’s the future, but how and when, and with what new applications?
    • Day 2: Workshops – practical guides from real practitioners
      • Session 9: Card and chip personalisation
      • Session 10: Card migration and chip real estate management
      • Session 11: Databases and networks
      • Session 12: Thinking of going cashless?
      • Session 13: New technologies, products and services – you can’t have a smarter campus without smarter technologies

    HESCA17 exhibition

    The HESCA17 conference will be supported by our sponsors - leading suppliers to this sector - each having an informal exhibition space.  Participating sponsors will offer delegates a rare opportunity to familiarise themselves informally with a wide range of relevant products and services.

    If you are interested in exhibiting at HESCA17, please contact Lawrence Faulkner at

    Cocktail reception on 7th March

    A sponsored cocktail reception will be held in the early evening of 7th March at the HESCA17 venue, to provide further opportunities for delegates, speakers and exhibitors to meet and share experiences and requirements.

    Event dinner on 7th March

    The event dinner is taking place at a local restaurant, at 7.15pm on the evening of 7th March.  Delegates, speakers and exhibitors may reserve places with us for this dinner at their own cost (assume £40 per head).

    Costs and terms

    Excellent offers for members and non-members:

    • HESCA members use up only one day of entitled attendance for one or both days at HESCA17
    • Non-member HEIs and FEIs: free for one delegate per invited institution covering both days (extra delegates at £100 per day)
    • Other non-members: £200 per delegate per day

    What's included in the deal?

    Included within these arrangements will be:

    • Participation at all sessions on both days
    • Access to all available presentation material
    • Refreshments on arrival and throughout both days, including two buffet luncheons and a drinks reception on the evening of 7th March
    • Free WiFi access

    Overnight accommodation

    HESCA17 attendees may stay at the Cardiff Marriott Hotel (the event venue) at the preferential rate of £109 B&B – to book, please visit book your group rate for Smartex accommodation (rooms at this rate are limited, and are available on a first-come first-served basis).  Overnight accommodation is also available at several nearby hotels – please contact for assistance with sourcing alternative accommodation.


    Download Event Directions

    How to book to attend HESCA17

    To register your place at HESCA17, please register online, or contact me at or on 01440 712610, letting me know whether you plan on joining for:

    • one or both days of the event
    • dinner on the evening of 7th March

    For further logistical information about the event, click here.


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  • How to join

    Smartex Forums are membership-based with an in-advance membership fee structure designed to suit the entire range of interests in smart technology, biometrics, smart payments, prepaid, RFID tags, M2M and NFC, and to accommodate differing time and budgetary resources.

    Comprehensive information about member services and benefits, and about Forum subjects and plans for the next year are provided in the 11 sub-sections listed below. These include details of how to join, and a membership application form.

    If you have any questions or comments about membership, please don't hesitate to contact the Smartex office on +44(0)1440 712610, or at, and we will do our best to help you.

  • Members' Pages

    Members have access to restricted content.

    To access presentations from past meetings of our forums, click on the links below:

    Smart Card Club

    Transport Card Forum


    Smart Payments Forum

    Near Field Club

    Internet of Things Association

    Delegates' Area

    Delegates have access to presentations from the latest Smartex meeting.

    Delegate Presentations

  • Updated on 21st  June 2017

    Streamlining Campus Mobile Security in the Age of IoT
    Campus Safety Magazine
    Streamlining Campus Mobile Security in the Age of IoT ... host of mobile security processes, including access control, alarms, asset tracking, ... With campuses becoming more mobile, the IoT brings valuable benefits but also ... RFID transponders have been used for decades to connect these physical ...

    Details of UK IoT transport initiative - and how oneM2M standards accelerated project - to be ...
    RealWire (press release)
    The role of oneM2M, the global standards initiative for Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and the IoT, in the project will be discussed by a panel of industry ...

    Can my smaller campus afford a campus card system?
    Historically, most smaller universities and community colleges have shied away from true “one card” systems, with larger price tags and staffing requirements often giving them pause. More recently, however, Tom Stiles and the Identification Systems Group are noticing a major transition as institutions of all sizes are looking to benefit from a true campus card system without the initial hefty investment of the past.

    It takes more than fingerprint checks to beat cheaters in China's biggest exam
    This week, more than 9 million Chinese students will sit roughly nine hours over a period of two days for the gaokao, the high-stakes exam for ...

    UK: Teachers are using facial recognition to see if students are paying attention
    Yahoo Finance UK
    ESG Business School in Paris is starting an artificial intelligence program which will identify whether students are paying attention in class.

    Curtin University deploys Hitachi's IoT solution to become a smart campus
    MIS Asia
    Hitachi has deployed an internet of things (IoT) solution in Curtin University to advance its vision of a smart campus that enhances the student ...

    Rise in exam cheating from students using smart technology
    Kensington Chelsea & Westminster Today
    Exam cheating through the use of technology is on the rise in schools and universities according to an investigation by The Sunday Telegraph.

    Chinese university using facial recognition for physical access
    A host of female students at China's Beijing Normal University are now able to access their residence hall by simply showing their face after the university installed facial recognition access readers at the dorm's perimeter doors.

    72% of UK universities are victims of phishing
    Daily Sentinel
    A series of Freedom of Information (FoI) requests filed with universities by Duo Security has revealed that 72% of the universities that responded have fallen victim to phishing attacks in the last 12 months – 7 of these have been …

    US: Moving card systems to SaaS
    The trend toward hosting campus card instances off premise and moving away from dedicated, on-campus servers has already reached a significant number of institutions, and it’s high time that we all become acquainted with what this means.

    UK: 'Cashless' payment system in place in schools
    Cambrian News

    University and startup working on 3-D finger vein encryption
    The École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne is working with startup Global ID on an encryption technique for processing biometric data captured via 3-D finger vein recognition.

    US: HID Fargo Connect brings SaaS to campus card issuance
    In essence it is a SaaS or outsourced alternative to traditional ID card production. Pulling student data from CBORD’s Odyssey PCS or CS Gold system, the solution prints over the web to Fargo printers located on campus and/or at HID’s service bureau.

    Contactless lockers prove smart idea for college campuses
    For some, the image of a student locker still evokes thoughts of cutout celebrity photos taped inside rusty metal boxes. But on modern college campuses, lockers are being re-envisioned to serve a real need for busy students.

    Campus Credit launches to support college & university communities
    EIN News (press release)
    Campus Credit, a technology suite featuring a Student ID card processing API that allows any business to accept student ID payments exactly like ...

    Researchers develop ‘lip password' based on motion
    Planet Biometrics
    Scientists from Hong Kong’s Baptist University has developed an authentication technique which uses a person’s lip motions.

    IoT Helps School District Slash Its Electric Bill
    Business Solutions Magazine
    In an example of the power of the Internet of Things (IOT), The Cheshire Public Schools in Connecticut slashed its electric bill by $390,000 a year by ...

    Nigeria university board to use biometrics with students
    Planet Biometrics
    Nigeria's Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has introduced biometric data capture into its registration procedure. JAMB said this was ...