Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

European Commission launches alliance to drive IoT innovation

Steve Rogerson
April 2, 2014
A platform to give Europe the lead of in the IoT field was launched in Brussels last week at the Net Futures 2015 conference.The Alliance for Internet of Things Innovation (AIoTI) aims to strengthen links and build relationships between the different IoT players, industries, SMEs, startups and sectors.
The declaration was signed by EC commissioner for energy Günther Oettinger and AIoTI board members Bosch, Philips and Sigfox.
It will also be used to promote interoperability and convergence between standards, facilitate policy debates and prepare a European Commission initiative for large scale testing and experimentation, tabled for 2016. By forging alliances between IoT sectors, stakeholders, large companies, SMEs and startups, it hopes to help Europe get a global lead in this field and foster a digital single market for IoT.
Revenues in the EU from IoT are estimated to represent €400m in 2015 and to increase to more than one trillion euros in 2020. The IoT will let companies change their traditional business models through new services but also combine the benefits of selling products with value-added digital service.
The AIoTI brings together different industries such as nanoelectronics and semiconductor companies, telecoms companies, network operators, IoT and cloud platform providers, security, and other service providers. It crosses sectors such as energy, utilities, automotive, mobility, lighting, buildings, manufacturing, healthcare, supply chains and cities.
Companies already on board includeAlcatel, Bosch, Cisco, Hildebrand, IBM, Intel, Landis & Gyr, Nokia, On Semiconductor , Orange, Osram, Philips, Samsung, Schneider Electric, Siemens, Sigfox, NXP Semiconductors, ST Microelectronics, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Telit, Thales, Vodafone and Volvo.
Current AIoTI members are mainly industry players; the next step is to extend membership to SMEs and startups or any entity that has a legitimate interest in joining. To this end, the EC also launched a call for expression of interest to recruit new members. EU member states will also be fully associated to this initiative.
The European Commission is supporting the development in Europe of what it hopes will be the most dynamic and agile IoT ecosystem and industry in the world, which could transform people’s lives, drive growth, create employment and address societal challenges.
The alliance launch builds on ongoing EC initiatives to create stronger relationships between industry, and innovators, and to foster European IoT innovation ecosystems through public consultations, funding schemes and studies. The EC published recently a €51m call for projects. The initiative cuts across several technological areas – smart systems integration, cyber-physical systems, smart networks and big data – and targets SME and IoT innovators to create an open IoT environment.
The alliance will also support policy development and dialogue within the IoT community. It builds on the work of the IoT Research Cluster and expands activities towards innovation within and across industries. This also provides an opportunity to discuss policy obstacles to further IoT take up, and to forge consensus. The alliance will also help the EC prepare future IoT research and innovation, standardisation and policy.
The alliance aims to be be instrumental in the definition and design of IoT large-scale pilots to be funded under the EU 2016-2017 H2020 Research & Innovation Work Programme. These pilots could include services in markets such as environment, smart cities and mobility.