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The International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA) has appointed a new General Secretary.
Dr Mark Deakes, pictured, has taken over from Ian Lancaster who has stepped down after more than 20 years at the organisation. Mark will head the trade body of producers and converters of holograms for security, packaging, graphics and other commercial applications. He brings 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 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. He worked in surface relief holography and security print products, as well as being involved in new holographic product and process development.
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.
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.
Mark added: “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 association adds, 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.