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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).

  • 2018 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.

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

    • 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 enrolment, card issuance processes and procedures • Coping with GDPR
    • Is The Cloud relevant to smart campuses and how?
    • Us of new smart technologies such as AI and IoT
    • The potential impact of smartphones 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?
    • Presentations by e-payment system providers: open or closed-loop?
    • The business and financial cases and plans for introducing cashless campus routines
    • The emerging new generation of physical access control system architectures
    • Using smart campus schemes for logical and system access control
    • Supporting innovative new functions with existing smart campus schemes
    • Case studies from UK and overseas smart campus card schemes
    • Successful strategies for card migration to a higher security form factor
    • Development of statements of best practice for HEI/FEIs
    • Development and progress of the HESCA Starter Pack for integrated supplier products
    • HESCA18: Cambridge is the location for our annual two-day regional conference & exhibition


    Meeting Dates and Agendas

  • 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:

    Transport Card Forum


    Smart Payments Forum

    Mobile & Identity Forum

    Internet of Things Association

    Delegates' Area

    Delegates have access to presentations from the latest Smartex meeting.

    Delegate Presentations

  • 13th and 14th March 2018

    Downing College, Regent Street, Cambridge CB2 1DQ

    Introducing new technologies and products for a smarter smart campus

    Lead Sponsor


    HESCA (the Higher Education Smart Campus Association) has pleasure in inviting you and/or a colleague to attend its annual conference and exhibition taking place on 13th & 14th March.

    This year, HESCA18 will also incorporate a series of educative Workshops on Day 2.

     HESCA18 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, Glasgow and Cardiff.  This year, by popular vote, we are returning to the heart of Cambridge. 

     Attendance at HESCA18 is free-of-charge to invited non-member HEIs and FEIs and to all HESCA members (with attendance on both days counting as one day’s membership entitlement).  Other non-members may attend at a cost of £200 + VAT per day per delegate. 

    Why attend HESCA18? 

    Don't miss this unique opportunity on Day 1 to learn about the many new developments in smart campus technology and applications, particularly the growing migration to smartphones as the form factor, and to biometrics as the authentication and authorisation mechanism.  Pioneering HEIs will explain how they plan to have cashless sites in the near future (and not just less-cash campuses). 

    Main agenda topics are as follows:

    • Developing a smart campus: from cradle to grave
    • The changing face of access control
    • The importance of student retention
    • Incorporating new applications and technologies

    Day 2 will be devoted to four educational workshops, where you will obtain a more detailed and practical knowledge of how to implement the new technologies and applications, often requiring specialist management of long transitional phases, and where you can receive briefings from exhibitors about their latest products and services for the range of functions that can be supported by smart technology.

    As always, leading suppliers will be there throughout the event to demonstrate their new systems offerings, and you will have ample opportunities to talk to HEI/FEIs about their experiences of developing a smart campus. 

     Cocktail reception on 13th March 

    Our traditional cocktail reception will be held in the early evening of 13th March at the HESCA18 venue, to provide further opportunities for delegates, speakers and exhibitors to meet and share experiences and requirements.

    Evening dinner on 13th March 

    The popular event dinner is taking place at a local restaurant, at 7.00pm on the evening of 13th March.  Delegates, speakers and exhibitors may reserve places with us for this dinner at their own cost (£45 per head incl. VAT). 

    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 the drinks reception on the evening of 13th March
    • Free Wifi access

    Overnight accommodation 

    There are several nearby hotels, and we are negotiating preferential rates for our attendees.   These include:

    • Regent Hotel: 01223 351470 (nearest): £130
    • Lensfield Hotel: 01223 355017 (10 minutes walk): £69
    • IBIS Hotel: 01223 320960 (by the station): £110
    • Hotel du Vin: 01223 928991 (10 minutes walk): £199

    The rates shown were those provided by on 17th January 2018.

     How to book to attend HESCA18 

    To book your place at HESCA18, please use our online registration form here

    If you are interested in the very attractive rates for exhibiting at this event, please contact or on 01440 712610.

    We should be delighted to welcome you to HESCA18 in Cambridge in March.

  • HESCA News

    Updated on 23rd February 2018

    Australian college installs fingerprint tech
    Planet Biometrics
    Ellenbrook Secondary College in Western Australia is having a new biometric technology system installed to manage student attendance and communicate with parents.

    HID Global's top trends to transform the campus card in 2018
    This move will also transform ID card printers into edge devices within the Internet of Trusted Things (IoTT), and redefine the economics of card issuance by ushering in new service-based models. Issuers will also be accelerating their adoption of mobile IDs, while taking a more integrated approach to ...

    Colleges Use IoT to Save Money on HVAC and Other Facilities
    EdTech Magazine: Focus on Higher Education
    But institutions are starting to use the Internet of Things (IoT) — pairing connected sensors with analytics software — to fix them. And they're saving big money in the process. Energy engineers at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln were mindful of simultaneous heating and cooling issues when they ...

    US: Entrust Datacard and CBORD Transform Student ID Issuance for Higher Education
    Entrust Datacard
    Entrust Datacard, a leading provider of trusted identity and secure transaction technology solutions, and CBORD®, a leading provider of card systems for colleges and universities, together announce the completed CS Gold integration with TruCredential software — replacing the requirement for IDWorks® software. This integration was successfully tested at the University of Vermont.

    Coventry University investigated after data breach
    Daily Sentinel
    An investigation has been launched following a data breach at Coventry University in November 2017. The breach occurred after an email attachment containing confidential student information was sent to almost 2,000 students. The university has apologised and insists that no …

    RFID Helps Parents Find Lost School Uniforms
    RFID Journal
    The RagTagd solution consists simply of a passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID-enabled lost property-collections box placed in a school's lost-and-found areas, as well as a tag attached to uniforms. The software on RagTagd's server tracks the items inside the box on a daily basis, then sends ...

    Developing 3D Face Recognition Using Soft Biometrics
    Find A PhD
    First class students are invited to apply for a PhD studentship in the area of 3D face recognition at the University of Bath. Biometrics is part of the image processing research in the Department of Electronic & Electrical at Bath, see details at This project will develop a new ...
    (Good to see universities beginning to get into biometrics: Ed.)

    Oxford University spin-out Bodle scores £6M Series A for its low-powered 'reflective' display tech
    The battery life of wearables, IoT devices, and smartphones remains one of the tech industry's biggest challenges and often a significant barrier to mainstream adoption. (I, for one, can't think of anything more tedious than having to charge a watch every night). There are various ways to tackle this ...

    Top private school will fingerprint pupils to cut lunchtime queues
    Deadline News
    ONE of Scotland's top private schools is introducing fingerprint scanning in a bid to cut queues at lunch time. George Heriot's, in Edinburgh, says the biometric technology will mean pupils no longer have to carry cash cards. The £12,000-a-year college is said to have been the inspiration for Hogwarts, ...

    Smart lockers in education: Lessons learned from worldwide contactless locker deployments
    On its own, contactless locking provides security and ease of use as its primary benefits. But by making these locks smart – incorporating them into a networked computer system with a powerful locker management software – universities can unlock, so to speak, a host of other benefits. These include ...

    Saudi university to establish biometric security research laboratory
    Arab News
    Biometric-based personal recognition technologies such as fingerprint, face, iris, palm print, voice and signature are used to identify a person by his or ... “Through the funding of this project, we will be able to establish a biometrics security research lab at the center, and build a strong research group for ...

    The keys to centralized identity data management
    When producing ID cards, it’s crucial to have a comprehensive repository of identity data for your students, employees and staff. But many institutions don’t have this single source of identity data in a centralized system. Although 11 bitcoin forks were scheduled for December they are already losing steam and it is unlikely that any of them will claim greater than 5% of bitcoins value. A Fork Generator for cryptocurrencies has been created that allows non developers to fork bitcoin…

    Counter surveillance helps prevent exam fraud
    The newly-launched ANDRE Advanced Near-field Detection Receiver from Research Electronics International (REI) is helping prevent fraud at exam testing sites.

    Manchester University launches new student IoT competition
    The Engineer
    Describing the next stage in the evolution of manufacturing, Industry 4.0 will see factories equipped with sensors and IoT enabled machinery that will improve productivity. Connectivity between workers, machines and devices, combined with analytics of big data, should see the emergence of smart ...








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