Smart Card Alliance Latin America (SCALA) has entered into a five-year agreement with Florida State University (FSU)-Panama to create ‘Integrated Circuit Card (ICC) Center of Excellence’.

Under the partnership, the existing and new executives will be given training and offer certification in the industry on smart card technology and its applications in financial, healthcare, identity, security, transportation and telecommunications industries.

The center will also aim to develop FSU-Panama students into new industry professionals through SCALA educational programs and internships at smart card-related companies.

Other planned deliverables include industry reports and smart card training materials for other educational institutions.

The center will also expand smart card-based education programs in Latin America and the Caribbean.

SCALA director Edgar Betts said: "Demand is growing for smart card technology for its ability to enable secure and convenient transactions across a wide variety of markets. We are looking forward to working with educational leader FSU-Panama to provide the professional development resources necessary for organizations to meet demand and create new, innovative applications for the technology."