European tech firms absent as Cisco, IBM, Intel back fresh IoT research

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Cisco, IBM and Intel are among the companies who have co-founded a group aiming to drive standards and adoption of the Internet of Things.

The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) is an open membership, not for profit group that will work on setting up interoperability across various industries. However, the group is entirely dominated by US companies as enterprises look to capitalise on the potential growth of the sector. Huawei has predicted there will be 100 billion connections via the Internet of Things by 2020. The European Union has its own Internet of Things Stakeholders Group that advises on its own policy.

The members, which also include AT&T and GE, will work on using existing and building new technology to develop real-world applications. The companies aid it would supply best practices and case studies for companies wishing to deploy their own M2M technology. The consortium also wants to set up open forums to discuss the way forward for the sector and establish common standards for the technologies used.

Janos Sztipanovits, E. Bronson Ingram Distinguished Professor of Engineering and Director of the Institute for Software Integrated Systems (ISIS), Vanderbilt University, said: “We are at the precipice of a major technological shift at the intersection of the cyber and physical worlds, one with broad implications that will lead to substantial benefits, not just for any one organization, but for humanity. Academia and industry understand the need to identify and establish new foundations, common frameworks and standards for the Industrial Internet, and are looking to the IIC to ensure that these efforts come together into a cohesive whole.”

The consortium said it was open to any company that wishes to join. The founding members will each hold permanent seats on an elected steering committee, in addition to four other elected members.

The US Government is the latest to back research into the Internet of Things, with it investing €72.7 million into setting up tests in the healthcare, transport, smart cities and security sectors. Earlier this month, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said it would back research in this area with €87.6 million of public money.

Mike Troiano, vice president, Advanced Mobility Solutions, AT&T Business Solutions, said: “The IIC is an assembly of the world’s leading technology innovators working to mobilize devices and machines around the world, whether they’re in an office building or on a ship in the middle of the ocean. Together, we share a common goal of building a more connected world.”

Guido Jouret, vice president of Internet of Things Business Group for Cisco, added: “Ninety-nine percent of everything is still unconnected. As the world looks to connect more things over the Internet, it is creating the next industrial revolution.”