Reopen society using physical COVID-19 contact tracing tokens

Watch the replay of the webinar held on April 28, 2021


  • Setting the scene - Professor Willem Jonker (CEO, EIT Digital)
  • Keynote on Contact and presence tracing - Professor Bart Preneel (Professor of Cryptology KU Leuven, key contributor to DP-3T (Decentralized Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing) and architect of the Belgian contact tracing app)
  • Panel on customer perspective - Mikko Kuusakoski (Head of Data Analytics, YIT), Tamas Kadar (CEO, Sziget Fesztival), Javier Murillo Ricote (Senior Project Manager, Ferrovial)
  • Presentation of COVID-19 contact tracing tokens
  • Panel on government perspective - Ander Elustondo J√°uregui (Policy officer, Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety, European Commission), Merit Clocquet (Sports innovation Officer, Sportinnovator and Programme Member of the Dutch Fieldlab Events), Professor George Crooks (CEO, Digital Health & Care Innovation Centre - Scotland)
  • Conclusion 

How can European societies reopen businesses, events and gatherings despite the COVID-19 pandemic? How to avoid that new outbreaks result in yet another lockdown? Physical contact tracing tokens offer a streamlined and effective way to quickly react to localized spikes in infections and track and break the chains of transmission of the disease.

EIT Digital has supported six European entrepreneurial teams in the development of a specific contact tracing technology using physical tokens. Since mid-2020 these teams have been developing token-based tracing solutions, all based on European technology, in the Nordics, Benelux, Italy, UK, and Hungary. Four of them led to the creation of a startup. These efforts are a tangible contribution to a sovereign digital Europe and to making European societies safer and more resilient.

Unlike smartphone-based contact tracing apps, which are meant to be adopted by as many people as possible and used all the time, token-based systems are designed to be employed in targeted use cases: at schools, restaurants, workplaces, during sport and cultural events, in factories to ensure worker safety. Tokens are small devices which can easily be carried in pockets, or for example as bracelets. They are used only for a specific use case and are not always on, thereby preserving privacy, a key quality for boosting adoption.

The tokens were tested by several customers:

  • The team based in the Nordics operated the Nordic Token at the Otava building site of the YIT Construction company in Espoo, Finland, as well at KALIX Tele24, a Swedish call service company.
  • The Benelux team validated its Crowdband technology at the PSV Eindhoven & the Johan Cruijff Arena stadiums, a theatre, and a school in Belgium. The various trials comprised 50 to 800 participants.
  • The Mohmo token, developed by a team based in Italy, was deployed at the Villa Gentile stadium in Genoa.  
  • The C-Spyder token, developed by the UK-based team, was successfully deployed at a construction site of the Spanish company Ferrovial in Chile.
  • The Gabriel token, developed in Hungary, will be piloted by Tungsram Operations, a Hungarian lighting company with more than 4000 employees.
  • The ProxyAware token was piloted in car assembly plants by 300 employees and sold to several production plants of a global beverage company in the UK, Italy, France and Mexico.

These deployments confirm that token devices are invaluable when it comes to quickly identify the individuals that have been exposed to the virus in specific use cases. Together with the token teams mentioned above, EIT Digital is looking forward to hearing from individuals, businesses and organisations interested in using physical COVID-19 contact tracing tokens to reopen European societies.

For enquiries, please contact the token teams through their websites or EIT Digital at

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Co-Funded by the European Union