Germany launches research offensive against piracy and forgeries

Ten new research projects have been launched in Germany in an attempt to counter an alarming trend in product piracy, the project, which will receive ?15 million in government funding between
them, are intended to develop integrated protection against imitations that brings together the technical and organisational measures and makes the counterfeiting of machines, services and
parts practically impossible.

This ‘research offensive’ will benefit medium-sized production companies in particular to protect themselves against piracy and forgeries. According to a survey carried out by the Alliance of
German Machine and Plant Engineers (VDMA), two-thirds of businesses in this field have been victims of plagiarism.

‘Product piracy is increasingly threatening the competitiveness of ‘innovation location’ Germany,’ according to Professor Frieder Meyer-Krahmer, State Secretary within the German Federal
Ministry of Education and Research. ‘It is urgent that we secure our products and services, not only legally, but also technologically.’

A particularly serious and difficult problem is the forgery of drugs. This is a problem on an international level: the World Health Organisation (WHO) believes that around half of the drugs
available in some parts of Africa are fakes. The project EZPharm will support the ministry in the development of a protective process chain for pharmaceuticals.

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