The Center for Security Printing and Anti-Counterfeiting Technology (SPACT) was established in December 2014 by researchers from three universities (South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSM&T), South Dakota State University (SDSU) and the University of South Dakota (USD)) to develop research solutions to thwart counterfeiting.

Just how big is the counterfeiting problem?  The International Chamber of Commerce forecasts the global value of counterfeit goods to rise from $650B in 2008 to a staggering $1.8T in 2015. The impact of the counterfeiting epidemic, however, reaches beyond mere economics. Recent data indicate that counterfeits account for roughly 1% of the medicine in the U.S. and 10%-30% in developing countries. For example, more than 80 people in the U.S. died because of the 2008 counterfeiting of heparin, and counterfeit auto parts resulted in over 25,000 deaths in India in 2009. The 9/11 terrorist attacks exposed how use of fraudulent passports can facilitate horrific events, and there now exist direct connections between illicit trade and terrorist activities. Perhaps nowhere is counterfeiting more prevalent than at the computer hardware/software nexus. In 2008 alone, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported 9,356 counterfeit microelectronics incidents discovered by military suppliers. Whether it is protection of personal safety or intellectual property, an interdisciplinary approach is required to address these challenges.

Within the SPACT Center you will find teams of researchers using an interdisciplinary, and multi-institutional approach to create the next generation of security-end products.


SPACT research spans several disciplines in the physical sciences (Chemistry, Physics), informatics (Computer Science/Engineering), engineering (Materials Science/Engineering, Electrical Engineering) and social/behavioral sciences. Research is underway to develop technology to protect against counterfeiting of various products, including pharmaceutics, electronics and critical documents. The Center has an established record of research and student training accomplishments. Click here to view the SPACT researchers’ biosketches and backgrounds.


The SPACT facilities include state-of-the-art equipment and laboratories on each of the three campuses.  Each campus has unique, complimentary facilities that serve as multi-user facilities to all SPACT Center researchers.  Click here to view the SPACT facilities.


Throughout the Center webpages you will see examples of SPACT research that has resulted since our inception.  Click here to view examples of SPACT research.