Last month, I traveled throughout Europe for two weeks, beginning in Stockholm. While there, I spent the day with current and prospective Object Management Group® (OMG®) and Industrial Internet Consortium members. I also attended the first meeting of the Swedish Strategic Industrial IoT Roundtable at EIT Digital (https://www.eitdigital.eu/) in Kista. There was huge interest in not only the Industrial Internet Consortium testbeds but also in the direction of semantic standards at OMG. Going forward, this group of high-level executives (which will include executives from Swedish companies like IKEA and Husqvarna) will continue to meet quarterly to discuss IoT issues in a group called the IoT Strategy Forum, organized ably by Agneta Jacobson (https://tinyurl.com/qzm4g78).
A follow-up meeting at Tele2 back in Kista was arranged on my second day in the country. I met the company’s executives and talked about the benefits of joining the Industrial Internet Consortium. From there, I flew to Budapest to keynote the simply-named IoT a Gyártás Optimalizálásáért Konferencia. The attendees were deeply interested in IoT and how it will/can affect their businesses. With some 100-150 attendees, it was a great introduction of IoT for the Hungarian capital.
Based on an introduction by Prof. Janos Sztipanovitz, Dr. Laszlo Jereb, senior advisor, Federated Innovation and Knowledge Center and professor from the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, arranged some company and university visits for me, which made my time in Budapest much more impactful. I first spent time at NETvisor, which uses OMG modeling languages to build IoT-based telecommunications solutions. I then visited the scientific research organization Magyar Tudomanyos Akademia Szamitastechnikai es Automatizalasi Kutatointezet (MTA-SZTAKI). This is a large unit of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences that studies ICT problems, including big data, smart cities, energy management, etc. which overlap many OMG/Industrial Internet Consortium initiatives. I also had the opportunity to visit two different departments of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics - the "MIT" (Measurement and Information Systems) department and a very hands-on learning department (Automation and Applied Informatics). Both are using OMG modeling standards and developing IoT solutions.
From Budapest, I flew to Cork, in southern Ireland. You will remember that one of our Industrial Internet Consortium testbeds is based there - the EMC-led INFINITE testbed. They have now collected reams of data on the use of ambulances in County Cork, and will soon be integrating that into ambulance service optimization. I was next invited to keynote at the unveiling of the Boole Business Labs, named after George Boole (those of you with CS backgrounds will recognize that the term "boolean" came from Mr. Boole, who was born 200 years ago in November). The impressive affair featured speakers like Irish Minister for European affairs and Data Protection Dara Murphy T.D., and the foremost biographer of George Boole, Emeritus Professor Desmond MacHale (also a prodigious collector of jokes and joke books).
Next stop on my European sojourn was Barcelona where Smart Cities World Congress 2015 took place, which was run by our great friends Fira de Barcelona in their fantastic facility. Last year, I attended Smart Cities to learn about Fira, in anticipation of this year’s highly successful Industrial Internet Consortium quarterly meeting and IoT Solutions World Congress back in September.
This year’s event was even larger than last year, with approximately a third of the booths representing cities from all over the world demonstrating how “smart” they are, and two thirds of vendors exhibiting their solutions for cities. The Smart Cities folks asked me to sit on a keynote panel to talk about IoT and its application to smart cities -- I was moved at the last minute, for logistics reasons, to a panel on sustainability in smart cities implementation. But testbeds are good for testing anything, including ideas about sustainability. Many attendees expressed much interest in IoT, OMG IIoT standards and IIC testbeds.
Before that, however, I spent a day at an event called IN3: Innovators, Investors, Institutions at Barcelona Activa, a fabulous start-up incubator in central Barcelona. This event was sponsored by the U.S. Ambassador to Spain, and was a great peek into the start-up world in Barcelona (though of course the Ambassador's idea was to show off the U.S. as a great place to grow your business). There was, of course, huge interest in smart cities technology but also IoT.
And finally, my last stop on this extended trip was to Sofia, Bulgaria, to keynote the conference Innovations in Software Technologies and Automation (ISTA 2015). Sponsored by VMware, SAP, Software AG and local/Eastern European companies like Musala and Luxsoft, some 600 attendees met in a very nice conference center, incongruously perched atop a large shopping mall (Paradise Center). The audience was very technical, asking good questions about the Industrial Internet and showing plenty of interest in OMG IIoT standards.
Speaking of OMG IIoT standards, have you been following the conversations about out upcoming TC meeting on Twitter using the hashtag #OMGLaJolla or on OMG’s LinkedIn and Facebook accounts? If you have, then you know that one of the meeting’s Special Events is aptly titled “OMG IIoT Standards at Work.” It‘s a complimentary half day event on Thursday, Dec. 10th in the morning. By the way, there’s still plenty of time to register for any of the week-long Special Events. You can find more information here.
Hope to see you in sunny La Jolla, CA, USA from 7-11 December 2015!