Athena Smartcard, the fastest growing independent smart card operating systems supplier for ID and Digital Security, payment and mobile security, announced that it reached a milestone, as it completed delivery in 2012 of 15 million smart card modules for the Italian CRS (Carta Regionale dei Servizi) eHealth and Digital Signature/Authentication and eGovernment card project . It is expected that by the end of 2013 over 20 million Italian citizens will be using Athena products that are Common Criteria certified as a Secure Signature Creation Device and loaded with the NetLink Health Insurance application, including all citizens of the Lombardy and Tuscany regions. Athena is the largest supplier of such smart card solutions in Italy and one of the largest in Europe. The project is managed by Actalis S.p.A. (Aruba group), Athena’s exclusive government partner in Italy, and the leading Italian Certificate Authority and smart card system provider for government projects. In addition to the supply of qualified digital certificates, Actalis is responsible for the entire card production, personalization and fulfillment of the CRS card.
The CRS eHealth card contains digital certificates that together with secure functions in the smart card operating system ensure the provision of health services to legitimate card holders, helps in the reduction of fraud and enables the automation of local government IT functions. The card is also designed to contain emergency data allowing European Union cross-border use.
“Actalis has been partnering with Athena, for the last few years, in supplying the CRS health card in Italy and as we continue to invest heavily in the infrastructure required to support such a large scale project, we see the cooperation with Athena as a critical success factor” said Giorgio Girelli, General Manager of Actalis based in Milan. “With a strong base in digital identify, through our leading Certificate Authority and our strong IT capabilities, it is the aim of Actalis to continue to be the major smart card provider for the Italian government sector in the years to come.”
“Italy has one of the largest deployments of advanced smart card based eHealth and eGovernment smart cards and Athena is proud to be the major provider for this project” added Jochi Fuchs, Vice-President, Athena. “With the new order expected and continued partnership with Actalis we are crossing a major milestone of supplying 20 million eHealth and eGovernment smart card modules in a single comprehensive national project and we expect to continue to support Actalis and the regional Italian Health System as it continues to lead in innovative use of smart cards.”
The successfully delivery of the CRS card and IDProtect middleware further enhances Athena’s position in the Government eID and eHealth space, with on-going worldwide government projects including in Argentina, Costa Rica, Taiwan, Italy, Nigeria, Poland and the Middle East.
About the CRS/CNS project in Italy
The Health Card project in Italy is managed locally by regional governments and provides a microprocessor based dual interface, contact or contactless smart card to all citizens. Card holders now have the ability to have secure on-line access, from home, to their electronic health records in addition to identifying themselves to medical institutions such as hospitals and related associations. The project, one of the largest in Europe and world-wide, is meant to replace the traditional paper or plastic based health cards with modern, smart card based technology, opening the door for additional government services.
Athena’s mission is to support our partners – card manufacturers, national printers and system integrators with state-of-the art smart card solutions. While some card manufacturers develop in-house chip solutions, mainly for payment applications, when it comes to National ID, Digital Signature, eGov, ePassports, Transportation, NFC and advanced contact or contactless payment solutions development, certification and support is becoming ever more complex, requiring a large dedicated staff with excellent knowledge of cryptography, embedded software, regulations, certification, and standardization. Athena technology and expertise removes these barriers from your business.
Actalis is part of the Aruba Group since 2009. Based in Milan, Italy, Actalis designs, develops, delivers and manages services and solutions for on-line security, digital signatures and document certification; develops and offers PKI-enabling components, supplies complete digital signature and strong authentication kits (including hardware and software), delivers ICT security consultancy and training.
Actalis is a leading Italian provider of certification services accredited by DigitPA, as well as a provider of certified electronic mail (PEC). Actalis also provides digital time-stamping services, bulk unattended digital signature and document dematerialization solutions.
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