Businesses worldwide are harnessing RAIN RFID for real-time visibility into their inventory, luggage tracking, and shipment authentication. In the future, we anticipate broader adoption, extending from manufacturing to end-of-life activities, driving a more connected economy.

The RAIN Alliance 10th Anniversary Innovation Challenge invites collaboration to tackle industry challenges and produce groundbreaking solutions to our customers’ most pressing unresolved business challenges. Join us in driving innovation and connecting with a global audience through this unique platform for suppliers to collaborate and promote solutions.

See this 21 March webinar recording to learn more and how to participate.

Interested in participating? Register Here by 30 April 2024.


Challenge Statements

These challenges identify real business issues for which:

  • There are no/few adequate “out of the box” solutions today.
  • There is a real market opportunity for viable solutions.
  • There is a meaningful impact on the end user’s the bottom line.
Challenge Statement for Use of RAIN RFID Types of end-user sector
Demonstrate a multi-vendor open and interoperable (i.e. not proprietary) anti-counterfeit system for high-value or controlled goods. Luxury retail (textiles, footwear, jewellery), Vehicle license plates, pharmaceuticals
Optimize efficiency, accuracy, and cost for tagging diverse items (with different materials, different forms, different sizes).  Specifically of interest are either lower volumes in-store or higher volumes in other locations such as distribution centres). There are multiple dimensions to this challenge including the ability to identify the object, choose the correct tag, print/code and correctly apply the tag to the object. Grocery, health & beauty
Optimize the location accuracy of reading tags (e.g. so that tags in one room/space can be easily differentiated from tags nearby but in another room/space) Retail, in-vehicle, in-warehouse (e.g. airport terminal), medical/clinical, restaurants

Demonstrate how to migrate an existing process which has been optimized for another technology (and has the confidence of the end-user team) to using RAIN RFID instead, mitigating the risks and showing how to quantify the additional value achieved. Example candidate processes include:

  • Picking in store
  • Click & collect
  • Payment by zone / transparent basket acquisition
  • Mobile payment
Retail, Manufacturing, Logistics

Interested in participating? Register Here by 30 April 2024.


The Challenge Timeline

21 March Innovation Challenge Launch Webinar: Representatives of end-users provide background and deeper info about the issue and root causes, and will be available for Q&A.
12 May

Challenge Teams officially formed and announced:

Each Challenge Team must consist of a minimum of 3 member companies who are committed to working together to produce a solution to one of the Challenge Statements in time to be showcased at the RAIN Alliance event in Florence in September 2024

Each team must identify both the specific challenge statement and the specific market and use-case that they are planning to focus on.

19 May RAIN Alliance Working Group Agreement to be signed by participants to ensure IP considerations are agreed by all participants.
13 September Handover of presentation material, video, and any demo material in advance of the Florence event
23 September Presentation and demo Live at RAIN Alliance event in Florence
11 October

Handover of all deliverables from the Challenge Teams Case Studies, ROI calculations, Time to ROI estimates, hurdles and barriers overcome, new guidelines/recommendations for RAIN Alliance members etc. to be included in RAIN Alliance publications, web page, and social media platforms

October/November/ December Webinar presentations from each Challenge Team Present your solutions and deliverables on a Webinar

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the benefits for end-users and those who attend the RAIN in Azione event in Florence in September?
    • Opportunity to see collaborative solutions being produced which (partially or wholly) address that specific challenge.
    • Free attendance (up to max of 3 participants per end-user company) at the Open Day of the RAIN Alliance event in Florence.
  1. How much involvement do end-users need to have and what kind of time do they need to commit?
    • End-user involvement can take several forms, and end-users may participate in any or all of the following (i.e. it is not necessary to be involved in every line item):
      • Proposing, reviewing, and refining challenge statements (2-3 hours work in February timeframe)
      • Being available on a webinar on March 21 to help answer questions and clarify the challenge statements for the membership communityBeing willing to endorse a specific challenge statement
      • Providing responses to any questions from Innovation Challenge teams as they are preparing their solutions
      • Attending the RAIN in Azione event in Florence in September to observe and interact with the solutions and participant companies
      • Reviewing and providing feedback on the material produced by the Innovation Challenge teams when made available on the RAIN Alliance website after the Florence event.
  1. Do the end-users defining the Challenge Statements need to be members of the RAIN Alliance?
    • The more end-users who engage in the definition of the challenges the more beneficial they are to the whole ecosystem.
  1. I already have a proprietary solution to a challenge statement. Can I enter the Innovation Challenge as a standalone company?
    • No, some vendors may well have proprietary partial or whole solutions to some of these “challenges”; indeed, some end-users may have invested in creating their own internal solutions to overcome these challenges. But we have identified a need for standardized, interoperable, and readily available solutions to instil confidence in the end-user community so that adoption rates continue to increase. The Innovation Challenge is only open to project teams consisting of several companies, committed to collaborating openly together and sharing the outcomes of their work.
  1. What are the benefits for participants in a Challenge Team?
    • Unique opportunity to understand the real business needs of end customers and to work collaboratively with the brightest minds in the industry, in a safe environment (no IP or anti-trust concerns), to produce innovative solutions to real business needs
    • Visibility of your products/solutions by the end-users who specifically need a solution for their challenge statement
    • Opportunity to present at the open day of the RAIN Alliance event.
    • Depending on available space and the amount of equipment required onsite – opportunity to demo the solution live at the RAIN Alliance event
  1. What are the benefits for the broader RAIN Alliance membership?
    • Observe, learn from, and re-use output materials from the challenge projects.
    • Building a trusted, co-creative relationship between end-users and existing members of the RAIN Alliance
  1. How many Challenge Teams will be allowed?
    • A maximum of 6 teams can be supported.
    • If we have more than 6 teams who apply, the applications will be prioritized according to:
      • Coverage of Challenge Statements
      • Number of end users endorsing the Challenge Statement
      • Number of participating companies in the team
      • Target deliverables of the project

8. What kind of deliverables are required? Will I be able to demonstrate my solution  at the RAIN event in Florence?

    • Due to the diverse nature of the Challenge Statements and anticipated solutions it’s not possible to give a definitive answer to this question. However, as general guidance it’s anticipated that each Challenge Team will produce:
      • Co-created solutions which can be demonstrated either live or on pre-recorded video (to be agreed on a case-by-case basis depending on a variety of factors including the nature of equipment needed and floor-space required)
      • A clear quantification of the business benefits achieved (e.g. efficiency improvement, cost saving, RoI etc.)
      • New or amended Guidelines, White papers, Videos and other materials that can be re-used by the broad RAIN Alliance membership community
      • A presentation at the RAIN Alliance event and on a webinar, which showcases the contributions of each participant in the Challenge Team, identifies clearly the innovations required to meet the Challenge Statement, signposts new or amended Guidelines or other collaborative materials produced and clearly quantifies the business benefits achieved.

9. Does my team need to attend the Florence Meeting in order to participate?

    • Yes – at least one representative from your challenge team must attend the Florence meeting in October and be prepared to give the presentation.