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      Israeli Firms Bid for Unique ID Card Project

      Israeli and Indian technology firms in a joint bid for a unique identification card project for the Indian government.
      By Zalman Nelson
      First Publish: 7/2/2009, 2:49 PM

      (file)

      Israeli information technology (IT) firms are partnering with Indian companies in a joint bid for a unique identification card project for the Indian government, according to an Israeli IT official.

      The government-funded project, to be implemented by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), is looking to create unique identification cards for all citizens by 2011.

      "Israeli IT firms with domain expertise in e-governance and Homeland Security will bid for the unique ID card project jointly with Indian vendors, as local participation is key to such projects dealing with critical mass," Israeli software industry business development manager Katrin Melamed told Silicon India.

      "Our leading IT firms have the architecture and the model for the Indian ID card project, which is set to cover over a billion people," Melamed said.

      Many Israeli firms have developed the technology and solutions for e-governance projects like ID cards with security features such as biometric or fingerprints, said Melamed who is leading a week-long Israeli IT delegation to India sponsored by the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute (IEICI) and funded by the Israeli government. The 14-member delegation of IT firms is scouting for Indian partnerships in digital broadcast media, modernization solutions, homeland security and e-governance.

      "In the absence of a lucrative domestic market for historical and social reasons, we are an export-oriented nation with only human capital and limited natural resources due to scarce land and smaller size of the country," Melamed pointed out.

      As a result, Israeli IT industry focuses more on research and development, product innovation, and technology upgrading to maintain globally competitiveness. Spanning hardware and software, the Israeli hi-tech industry is comprised of about 3,000 IT firms which accounting for $5.8 billion in exports in 2008. About 40 percent of Israel's total IT exports go to North America, while Europe accounts for 30 percent and the remained is generated from rest of the world, including Asia.