Almost a week ago I attended the Internet of Things (IoT) week in Lisbon, Portugal. It was a very interesting gathering of experts, innovators and business developers.

This was the 6th edition and you could see that over the years the IoT has become more than a techno dream and it is today a real market. It becomes clear to everyone that the vision of connecting everything to networks will have vast economic potential and enormous positive social impact. According to our latest study, the IoT market value in the EU is expected to exceed one trillion euros in 2020! That is the key to our prosperity and competitiveness.

During this week rich in IoT discussions I had the unique opportunity to meet many innovators both from the research and business worlds.  I had the chance to see again colleagues from the European Research Cluster on the Internet of Things(IERC) and learn more about their latest work. I discussed with Smart Action project focusing on additional actions to promote the results of all completed EU IoT projects. We also talked about the future of the IoT week with the IoT Forum.

Moreover, I was very happy to see that the young Europeans, the future scientists and entrepreneurs believe in the potential of the Internet of Things. From PhD students to startuppers. In particular, I closely followed the IoTweek Hackathon. It was really interesting and encouraging to see this young entrepreneurial spirit and good pragmatic ideas. Chatting with these youngsters, I felt again that Europe has nothing to worry about. We can succeed in leading the future Internet of Things market, provided we embrace this entrepreneurial spirit and give a chance to the young generation.

The IoT week had some international impact too. Very importantly, we had a dedicated session with our Brazilian counterparts to start preparing a joint call we will have in 2016 in the IoT area. I also had the opportunity to meet our USA partners from NIST or the Industrial Internet Consortium, and some Asian partners from South Korea and China. Our discussions pointed out the need to coordinate our actions and initiatives on IoT to avoid the emergence of multiple incompatible standards and a fragmented market. We need to cooperate globally in order to fully unleash the IoT potentials!

Last but not least, a big satisfaction in the IoT week was for me the presence of the Alliance for Internet of Things Innovation (AIOTI) which has actively participated in the conference. Many of the members were there boosting the discussions on the Internet of Things European agenda. In my view, AIOTI was one of the highlights of the IoT week 2015. The launching of the AIOTI gives a clear sign that the European Commission has decided to create a dynamic European IoT ecosystem. The Digital Single Market (DSM), adopted in May 2015, leads Europe a step further in accelerating developments on IoT. As I pointed out during my speech, the European Commission will launch a series of IoT large scale pilots in 2016. We are going to invest more than 100 million euros for this and hope to catalyse the IoT ecosystem. We are looking forward to the support of the AIOTI in providing suggestions on how to design best these IoT large Scale Pilots so that they really help industry and market uptake. AIOTI’s mission is indeed to support a new European IoT ecosystem, which cuts across vertical industry silos, and develops horizontal platforms and links between all actors in the IoT value chain. The board meeting of the AIOTI was a great opportunity to discuss how we can involve even more leading members, on top of circa 150 we have already attracted in our 11 working groups. After this conference, I am filled with enthusiasm and hope, but also with a long list of tasks to follow up. A lot of work ahead, but a fascinating opportunity to build a new IoT future which would help to develop jobs in Europe in the coming years.

Published: 
30 June 2015
Last update: 
30 June 2015