ArjoWiggins, Gep and STMicroelectronics to Cooperate on Advanced Solutions for Electronic Passports

ArjoWiggins, Gep and STMicroelectronics to Cooperate on Advanced Solutions for Electronic Passports

Combination of Gep’s smart card software know-how with ST’s leading-edge secure microcontroller technology and Gep majority shareholder ArjoWiggins’ expertise in Security papers leads to state-of-the-art Electronic Passport solutions

Geneva, Issy-les-Moulineaux, Naples, November 19, 2003–STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), the world’s second largest supplier of smart card chips, ArjoWiggins, the world leader in Secure Paper technologies and Gep SpA, leader in contactless high security applications, announced that they are to develop jointly solutions for ICAO compliant* electronic passports. The combined expertise of the partners in smartcard IC technology, Secure ID Software and Secure Paper technology will enable the development of a complete solution to meet the needs of the rapidly evolving passport market. Passport authorities are looking for advanced security solutions. Gep, ArjoWiggins and STMicroelectronics together will enable the electronic passport technology revolution.

“Passport Authorities worldwide will certainly welcome this move, which represents an unprecedented combination of know-how and resources available to them, on a truly industrial scale, in the combat against passport fraud,” said Philippe Gelblat, CEO of Security Products at ArjoWiggins.

The first ArjoWiggins/Gep/ST electronic passport solution has already been delivered in samples and is currently undergoing field tests. The ICAO compliant passport, produced by ArjoWiggins, has a secure contactless IC from ST running Gep’s secure passport OS/application embedded into the cover of the document. The embedded chip option is already attracting a strong interest worldwide as a secure, user friendly and easy-to-implement solution.

The Gep secure operating system ERAT exploits fully the ST19RF08 contactless smartcard IC, taking advantage of the proven security features, cryptographic hardware and ISO 14443 contactless interface. The advanced hardware/software solution can be customised to suit all specific needs. This Passport, based on ArjoWiggins renowned paper security technologies, will become part of their global offer for Passports. The ArjoWiggins/Gep/ST electronic passport solution will be available through Gep or ArjoWiggins’ security sales offices.

“In the future, the cooperation will be extended to develop solutions with added security and application features based upon the next generation of ST’s ST19 contactless family of ICs with higher memory capacities and cryptographic capabilities,” said Andreas Räschmeier, Financial and Identification Division general manager, STMicroelectronics.

“This cooperation is a response to growing government demand for comprehensive and reliable secure passport solutions. Passport applications have particularly challenging demands for security and interoperability, making a systems approach increasingly necessary,” said Paolo Pepori, Founder and Director of Gep SpA.

About Gep

Gep is a company established in 1999 by the Worms &Cie Group to design, develop, implement and sell systems and advanced solutions based on electronic cards with microprocessor technology. Provided with its own R&D centre, Gep realizes its solutions and integrates the concerning systems collaborating with the most qualified providers of the complementary technologies regarding both the system and the production processes. Website:

About STMicroelectronics

STMicroelectronics is a global leader in developing and delivering semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics applications. An unrivalled combination of silicon and system expertise, manufacturing strength, Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and strategic partners positions the Company at the forefront of System-on-Chip (SoC) technology and its products play a key role in enabling today’s convergence markets. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2002, the Company’s net revenues were $6.32 billion and net earnings were $429.4 million. Further information on ST can be found at

About ArjoWiggins Security: “6 billion end-users”

ArjoWiggins Security is part of the ArjoWiggins group, the world’s leading manufacturer of creative and technical paper. Whilst remaining true to its illustrious history, ArjoWiggins has placed technological innovation and creativity at the core of its identity, and offers an unparalleled products range. A 100% subsidiary of Worms & Cie, ArjoWiggins is present in Europe, the US, South America and Asia via its network of 25 industrial sites and three research centres.

ArjoWiggins Security is the world’s leader manufacturer of banknote and security paper. With a strong heritage and a large portfolio of licences, it is the only group that has been able to build up a complete product range in the security field. It always provides a tailor made, innovative and relevant solution. The group has a close relationship with document issuing authorities and works in partnership with them. For more information:


Paolo Pepori
Tel: 39 02.26599419
Cell: 335 236059
Fax: 39 02.26599201

Maria Grazia Prestini
Director, Corporate Media Relations
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Michael Markowitz
Director, U.S. Media Relations
Tel: +1.212.821.8959