This is a guest blog post written by Kees van der Klauw, Senior Vice President at Philips Research and Chair of AIOTI
The new AIOTI Association will replace the existing AIOTI initiative, which has acted as an informal Alliance of 500+ members. This transformation is essential as we can now act as a formal representative for our stakeholders and extend our cooperation with other IoT global players - as one strong united European voice for Internet of Things (IoT).
The Alliance for Internet of Things Innovation (AIOTI) was launched by the European Commission in order to develop and support the dialogue and interaction among various Internet of Things (IoT) players in Europe. During AIOTI's first year our team managed to develop the most dynamic European Internet of Things ecosystem and to become a global influencer on IoT technology. Even Forbes decided to include us in the list of the IoT worldwide industry players in a dedicated article on October 2016.
At the 3rd General Assembly of the AIOTI initiative, which took place on the 30th of May in Berlin, the members decided to work on transforming the Alliance into a legal entity. This has been achieved thanks to the strong commitment of all our members. But at this point, I would like to single out our 21 founding members who have committed to provide AIOTI with the starting capital that has enabled us to establish the independent Association. They have also invested their time and competencies to draft the By-Laws that define our operating model.
Why does Europe need AIOTI?
While traditional technology innovation is very well served by existing initiatives, innovating in the Internet of Things requires a very different approach. Technological maturity is not sufficient for market success. Market adoption requires that we involve end-users and many more stakeholders in testing IoT applications.
Such applications can no longer be developed in laboratories alone. They have to be created and tested in realistic scenarios in the so-called Large Scale Pilots (LSPs). Those pilots are not run in isolated, pre-set conditions, but in real life environments. This enables a smoother transition from pilot to actual market conditions.
Internet of Things innovation is not the exclusive domain of a handful of large technology companies. It thrives in environments which encourage cooperation across several verticals, and relies on the involvement of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). While the innovation platforms are often provided by large verticals, the validation of new IoT business models is increasingly provided by SME’s, who are often better placed to identify new markets and contribute to a fast track to innovation. And speed is of the essence in IoT.
Such a transversal, end-to-end, multi-stakeholder and close-to-the-market innovation network does not currently exist in Europe, though it is much needed to secure our competitive position and exploit the opportunities of IoT.
That is why AIOTI has been established - to serve the interest of our members in the European context; drive policies, common roadmaps and platforms; converge on standards, build networks across horizontals and verticals, join together all stakeholders in IoT innovation and develop with them a future vision for IoT.
We provide the missing links for the European IoT ecosystem and are very much end-to-end, member driven. At the same time we recognise the need to cooperate on a global scale and leverage standards and platforms established in the world.
What's next for us?
We will start working on building a European Technology Platform (ETP) and actively engage the European IoT community. From now on you will be able to follow our activities and work on our new website aioti.org.
I am very happy that we have successfully completed this important step for AIOTI so that we can now focus on the content of our programmes that is of relevance to our members. I also seize the opportunity to thank the European Commission for this initiative. It was a great achievement to motivate various European IoT players to establish a direct and sincere dialogue via this Alliance.
At the same time, I realise that the last thing we should do is be complacent with our achievements so far. We cannot be satisfied with just establishing the organisation. It is about being relevant for our stakeholders and having an impact on IoT innovation for economic and social benefits. And that feels like an exciting opportunity and responsibility for AIOTI.