News Releases


Hitachi America Awarded Smart Card Solution Program for Six State New England Consortium

-- Ground Breaking Program for New England Partners to Employ Smart Card Technology to Efficiently Deliver Government/Private Sector Services to New England Families --

BRISBANE, Calif., January 7, 2003 – Hitachi America, Ltd., a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT), today announced it has been awarded a contract by the New England Partners (NEP) to implement a comprehensive pilot program employing smart card solutions for eight automated government programs in the New England region of the U.S.. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

New England Partners is a consortium of the six New England states – Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont – in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Nutrition Services (FNS), which plans to improve and streamline the delivery of a variety of healthcare programs for economically disadvantaged families. The NEP will harness the power of the smart card technology to bridge government and private system programs and increase the efficiency of the reporting and reimbursement processes

The New England Partners Project is financed under an Agreement with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Community and Public Health, with funds provided in part or in whole by the State of New Hampshire and/or the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service.

In announcing the contract, Shigeharu Mano, president and CEO of Hitachi America, Ltd., said, “We are most honored to have been selected for this unique opportunity to apply Hitachi smart card and solutions technology to such an important social infrastructure program as represented by the New England Partners’ Consortium. Hitachi’s business increasingly is focused on implementing solutions that employ its leading edge information systems, semiconductor and electronics technologies to the most pressing of challenges for business and society in the 21st century. Hitachi America and its partners look forward to implementing a comprehensive pilot that one day will become a model for efficient and effective delivery of government and private sector services that benefit all segments of our society.”

The NEP is supporting automated programs for WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infant and Children), Commodity Supplemental Food Nutrition (CSFP), Farmers Market, Head Start Program, Immunization Services, Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention, Medicaid EPSDT (Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment), the Rhode Island Kids Net, and other healthcare provider assessments.

Each state has designed one county to participate in the 21-month NEP Pilot. Participants in the six counties will be provided smart cards with their benefits and personal data contained on the cards. Participants will be able to purchase groceries, coordinate health appointments, and track their healthcare progress with their NEP smart cards. Following a successful pilot, each state will determine whether it will implement the program statewide. This pilot will include approximately 625 POS terminals at 90 retailer sites and more than 20 provider sites, as well as 10,000 WIC participants.

The NEP Pilot plans to provide a proof of concept for reorienting government services toward a ‘participant centered’ focus, rendering better coordination and efficiencies in overlapping caseloads and care management. The shared patient records maintained on the microprocessor chip will enable improved case management, and will eliminate redundant activities, services and data collection, and will improve the quality of participating services.

Hitachi will provide the microprocessor chips, the MULTOS operating system, program management, project management, the host hardware and software solution, system documentation and testing. Participating with Hitachi America are its bid partners:

Lake Mary, Florida-based Dreifus Associates Ltd., Inc., who will provide training, user documentation, and ongoing operational support (including user surveys, and equipment deployment and retrieval);

Dulles, Virginia-based Giesecke & Devrient who will produce the smart cards and provide the pre-personalization services;

Chantilly, Virginia-based CardSystems Solutions Inc. who will provide the NEP host operational support, Merchant and Cardholder Help Desks, and Internet-based reporting support; and

Wakefield, Massachusetts-based Wear Logic who will provide the point-of-sale (POS) terminal hardware and the POS application software.

Hitachi America, Ltd. markets and manufactures a broad range of electronics, computer systems and products, consumer electronics and semiconductors, and provides industrial equipment and services throughout North America. For more information on Hitachi America, visit