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MorphoTrak donates $1.5 million in cloud technology to WVU for biometric research

A photo of representatives from MorphoTrak and WVU

Scott Swann (left), vice president of federal operations and innovation at MorphoTrak, joins WVU Vice President for Research Fred King (center) and Associate Professor Keith Morris (right) inside a lab at Oglebay Hall.

MorphoTrak, a key provider of biometric services to law enforcement and other agencies, will donate access to MorphoCloud, a cloud-based collection of services, to West Virginia University to support the university’s highly-regarded research and education programs in biometrics and forensics.

MorphoTrak, a subsidiary of Safran Identity and Security, has collaborated with the WVU biometrics program for several years, supporting a number of researchers' projects; this opportunity builds on that relationship.

In announcing the donation, B. Scott Swann, vice president of federal operations and innovation, said, “MorphoTrak located its West Virginia corporate office in Morgantown for a strategic reason.

"We want to foster a close academic partnership with WVU. We are very excited about this partnership. The academic and research values should be long lasting and definitely go beyond the monetary value of this donation,” said Swann, a West Virginia native and WVU graduate.

The current version of MorphoCloud includes services for fingerprint and palmprint search and verification, as well as face recognition. In the near future, the cloud services available to WVU will be expanded to include iris recognition and video analytics. As part of the donation, MorphoTrak will provide technology training and support to WVU to operate the multi-biometric identification capability of MorphoCloud.

“We are pleased to have access to this world-class biometric system that integrates analytics from multiple sources," WVU President Gordon Gee said. "As a leader in biometric technology research and the FBI Biometric Center of Excellence’s lead academic partner, West Virginia University’s agreement with MorphoTrak takes us to a new and exciting level of research in this emerging field.”

The MorphoTrak engineering and development facility, which marks its one-year anniversary in November, is just a short distance from the advanced research occurring at WVU’s Biometrics & Identification Innovation Center, staffed by a multi-disciplinary group of WVU researchers.

They work with government and industry to advance biometric technology and its associated applications.

Celeste Thomasson, MorphoTrak president and CEO, underscores the decision of this $1.5 million donation to WVU.

“It makes perfect sense to team with WVU and continue growing MorphoTrak’s presence in the area,” Thomasson said. “Providing WVU and the BIIC with access to our industry-leading identification technologies through MorphoCloud is the first step toward building a sustainable framework for research collaboration and innovation that benefits our key stakeholders such as the FBI and other state and local law enforcement agencies.”

WVU Vice President for Research Fred King said that “West Virginia University is honored that MorphoTrak has chosen to partner with us to provide our researchers the opportunity to use and develop sophisticated technologies essential to maintaining our nation’s security.”

Keith Morris, associate professor in the Department of Forensic and Investigative Science, and Matthew Valenti, professor in the Lane Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering, will be the lead researchers on the MorphoCloud project.



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