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The International Cooperation for the Integration of the Processes in Prepress, Press and Postpress (CIP4) organization announced at its fall 2013 interoperability event the presentation of a CIP4 Fellowship to Dr. Rainer Prosi of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg).

The CIP4 Fellowship Award recognizes individuals whose contributions to the development of the Job Definition Format (JDF) specification are both substantial and significant to the integrity and function of JDF as well as individuals who may have contributed to the industry’s adoption of JDF by educating manufacturers of JDF systems and JDF users and/or by actively disseminating information about JDF.

Prior to the foundation of CIP4, Prosi was involved in the development of the first rough draft of the JDF specification and schema, along with colleagues from Adobe, Agfa, Heidelberg and manroland. Prosi has served as CIP4’s technical officer since the foundation of CIP4 and is responsible for orchestrating multiple working groups and interoperability testing events, and he oversees development work on CIP4 software development kits and tools made available to the public, such as the JDF Editor.

As CIP4’s Technical Officer, Prosi also serves on CIP4’s Board of Directors and is the chair of the Technical Steering Committee (TSC). The TSC consists of all technical working group chairs and is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the JDF architecture.

“Where the individual working groups have their own area of specialization, Rainer is the person that needs to carry around the entire JDF specification in his head,” said James Harvey, executive director, CIP4. “When one group requests a change or new feature that impacts what another group is doing, or where a group is considering functions that have already been addressed elsewhere in the specification, it is most often Rainer who resolves these issues and provides the explanation that members need.

“He also often takes the lead, drafting new features such as JDF device capabilities and even today he continues to work on JDF developments that may not make it to the market for several years. I think nobody would argue with me when I say that no one else knows JDF as well as Rainer, and without Rainer we would not have the JDF specification we have today.”

In addition to serving as CIP4’s Technical Officer, Prosi has also worked to educate new members and the public. Prosi has spoken on JDF subjects at numerous industry events and has also coordinated and lead many free one-day technical seminars offered to new CIP4 members and the general public prior to the biannual CIP4 meetings around the world. Prosi also lead several of the session in the online JDF Expert Certificate training program provided by IDEAlliance.

“For new members, particularly developers with no JDF experience, getting involved with CIP4 working groups and beginning development can be overwhelming,” said Tim Donahue, managing consultant, Kodak Digital Printing & Enterprise. “He is well-known for his thoughtful demeanor and his well-intentioned and well thought out answers to even the most complex questions related to JDF and JDF-enabled workflow automation. I have worked with him in CIP4 for many years and can say without hesitation that Rainer has earned the deepest respect of his CIP4 technical working group peers. JDF is the key technology behind open workflow integration and automation and Dr. Prosi is the key person behind JDF.”

Prosi received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Kiel, Germany, in 1992 and continues to live in Kiel with his wife and two sons. He started his career working at CERN and DESY where he evaluated the debris of colliding protons, electrons and positrons. Prosi began work in 1998 at Heidelberg where he was initially involved in variable data workflow and PDF optimization. He has served as CIP4’s technical officer since 2000 and is one of the primary authors of the JDF Specification and its many related Interoperability Conformance Specifications. He continues to work at Heidelberg as a Senior Workflow Architect, where he is responsible for the ongoing development of the Prinect suite of print automation and productivity tools.

As part of the CIP4 Fellowship Award, the CIP4 Board of Directors recognizes Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG for its ongoing support of CIP4 and JDF. Heidelberg is one of the founders of CIP4 and JDF and continues to support the organization. In addition to sponsoring Prosi’s activates within CIP4, Heidelberg has also done much to promote JDF-enable automation and educate the printing community around the world.

“Heidelberg offers solutions for automating every aspect of a printer’s operation and JDF is, and continues to be, a key technology behind Prinect and our automation solutions,” said Stephan Plenz, member of the board, Heidelberg. “We are proud of our part in helping to create JDF and CIP4, and especially proud of what Dr. Prosi has accomplished and the work he continues to do for CIP4.”

The CIP4 Fellowship award is made at the discretion of the CIP4 Board of Directors. In addition to the award itself, as a CIP4 Fellow, Prosi has been granted a life-long recognition by, and membership in, CIP4.

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