The International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA) has outlined its plans for continuing growth with the appointment of a new General Secretary.
Dr Mark Deakes has taken up the role, succeeding Ian Lancaster who has stepped down after more than 20 years of service to the organisation.
In his new role Mark will spearhead the IHMA’s representation of the world’s leading producers and converters of holograms for security, packaging, graphics and other commercial applications.
In doing so he brings extensive knowledge and career experience of the security printing sector that has combined technical research work with commercial responsibilities in international business.
After gaining a PhD, Mark began his career as a research chemist formulating inks and developing new products for litho newspaper presses, before joining De La Rue in the security print industry where he remained for 15 years.
During this period he developed a particular understanding of surface relief holography and security print products and technology, as well as being involved in new holographic product and process development where compliance with international standards and customer requirements are crucial.
Subsequently, after gaining an MBA, Mark became involved in more commercial activities, including technical sales and customer liaison roles in security print markets, focussing on tax stamps and other secure documents.
On taking up his new role as General Secretary, Mark said: “I am excited and delighted to accept this position and I look forward to working with the IHMA board in promoting the best interests of this hugely important and growing sector.”
“Holograms are now the single most-used add-on security feature on banknotes, passports, tax stamps and other products. Helping the industry to continue to grow and innovate will continue to be the ambitions of the IHMA, as well as enabling the industry to come together as one to meet the various challenges it faces.”
“In this respect, the implementation of ISO14298 standard for the management of security print and security foil production processes, meeting international image registration requirements and continually highlighting the benefits of holography against competing products and technologies are all likely to be priority areas for the IHMA in the years ahead.”
Since its foundation in 1993, the IHMA has expanded its membership from a dozen initial members to nearly 100 of the world's leading hologram companies. Through participation in the trade association, members actively cooperate to maintain the highest professional, security and quality standards in support of their customers.
In particular, membership of the IHMA signifies that a company is committed to meeting the rigorous requirements of an industry Code of Practice, assuring customers, suppliers and partners of ethical business practices and quality products.
Looking forward, continuing to increase the membership base of the IHMA and reaching out to hologram producers worldwide to help them better understand the importance of design integrity will be key activities for Mark in his new role.
He said: “The IHMA has a rich history and that can only be continued by extending our involvement to new and emerging holography companies who contribute to what is now a growing billion dollar industry.”
“This will mean looking at how we can best serve the display holography sector and to continuing the good work we have started with government agencies in China to help improve awareness and respect for intellectual property.”
On this latter point, included in membership of the IHMA is access to the Hologram Image Register (HIR), a secure registry of holographic images that is designed to safeguard hologram copyright and underpin the use of holograms in authentication and security printing.
To date, the HIR has helped to uncover and prevent several cases of attempted counterfeiting and many specifiers and users of secure holograms require these to be registered on the HIR.