Central Piedmont Community College is developing a new program to train people to develop anti-counterfeit printing.
CPCC is launching the program with the help of $200,000 from the National Science Foundation. The grant, announced this week, will fund research and development of its curriculum. Zach Blackburn chairs CPCC’s graphic arts and imaging technology program. He says advanced printing techniques are all about “brand protection.”
"We’re not just talking about currency," Blackburn explains, "we’re talking about average, run-of-the-mill household goods that you buy on a daily basis. These types of goods are being counterfeited at an alarming rate."
For example, Blackburn points to a report that projects the anti-counterfeit packaging market will grow nearly three times over to $143 billion from 2013 to 2020.
Companies, he says, are gearing up to meet the demand for new printing materials, "creating very high-end specialty type inks that can’t be replicated along with paper, substrates and encodings and the such."
Blackburn says CPCC will train students to design these kinds of packaging or to work for the companies that develop and sell the components to make them. CPCC also plans to offer continuing education classes for printing industry professionals.
Blackburn says the program should be open to students in about 2 years. He hopes to have 15 or 20 people in the first graduating class.