UAlbany Launches i2M Standards: Key Advances in Systemic Solutions to Solve Art Industry Fraud

Initiative brings together leading contemporary artists, conservation scientists, corporations, research organizations and technology innovators to solve art’s authenticity crisis

NEW YORK, LONDON (October 12, 2015) -- The University at Albany and the University at Albany Foundation today launched i2M Standards, the identification and authenticity standards and independent technologies that will solve the problem of faked and forged art.

The initiative follows a two-year global collaboration between artists, academics, scientists and curatorial institutions across the world, led from the University at Albany’s Center of Innovation (now renamed the Global Center of Innovation for i2M Standards, and sponsored by ARIS Title Insurance Corporation, a member of Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd.)

Paul Cezanne's "Peaches, Pears and Grapes." UAlbany and the University at Albany Foundation launched i2M Standards -- new technology that will solve the problem of forged artwork.

The result is a core infrastructure of standards to support both the object-marking technologies and high security informatics and data management approaches required to solve art’s authenticity crisis, against which first-generation solutions can be introduced into the industry. The first i2M-standards compliant system permanently embeds bio-engineered DNA elements into the surface of art objects through a specially-created label which attaches to the object. It also results in first adopters stepping forward to begin using these advanced solutions to start the process of systemic change.

The Global Center of Innovation for i2M Standards has revealed leading individual artists, institutions and other thought leaders who are participating in this initiative. A full list of these early adopters is available at the newly-launched i2M website, along with details on how to get involved.

“The University at Albany is proud to host the Global Center of Innovation for i2M Standards and leverage our strategic alliances and research capacity to create authentication standards that will help all market stakeholders protect their interests in relation to art and collectibles,” said Robert J. Jones, President of the University at Albany.

Sam Salman, Chairman of NRS Associates, which has led the development of the Global Center of Innovation along with the support of ARIS Title Insurance Corporation, remarked, “We are fortunate that the University at Albany and its industry colleagues have the capacity to coordinate and apply some of the world’s leading science in such advanced fields as nano- and micro-fluidics to develop the elements of the solution.”

“We have a strong commitment to public-private collaborations and have played a key role in developing large-scale, technology-based solutions to significant problems in global industries,” added Jones. “We are pleased that the University of Sussex, Brink’s Global Services and other leading institutions have joined this effort. With the diversity of stakeholders engaging directly or indirectly in the art industry, it is expected that parties across the globe will contribute to the development of these industry standards.”

“In the art industry today there is no universal standard that governs how a work should be identified, no solution that can authenticate a previously-unidentified work with any degree of certainty and therefore no mechanism to prevent the reintroduction of faked and forged objects back into the market,” commented Lawrence M. Shindell, Chairman of ARIS Title Insurance Corporation “The i2M Standards represent an international, cross-industry solution designed to solve art’s great challenges caused by fakery and fraud.”

As an independent, academic, peer-review-based facility, the Global Center of Innovation for i2M Standards will be able to measure standards-compliance of developed solutions as well as facilitate their market acceptance.

The Center has been developed through support provided by ARIS, the authority on the subject of legal title risks impacting the global fine art and collectibles market. Its operations will be coordinated by NRS Associates, LLC, a strategic merchant banking and advisory firm based in New York City.

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