U.S. tech giants, Vanderbilt engineers form group to create engineering standards for ‘Internet of Things’
A new group called the Industrial Internet Consortium that includes Vanderbilt engineers and researchers in the university’s Institute for Software Integrated Systems (ISIS), American technology giants AT&T, Cisco, GE, IBM, Intel and 11 other companies announced its plans March 27 to create engineering standards for the “Internet of Things.”
IoT refers to the connection of smartphones, routers, thermostats, sensors, and other objects to the Internet and one another. The consortium is focused on breaking down the barriers of technology silos to support better access to big data with improved integration of the physical and digital worlds.
“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,” said Janos Sztipanovits, E. Bronson Ingram Distinguished Professor of Engineering and director of ISIS.
“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,” Sztipanovits said
The IIC is a not-for-profit group with an open membership that will take the lead in establishing interoperability across various industrial environments. The IIC is open to any business, organization or entity with an interest in accelerating the Industrial Internet.
“The IIC aligns well with Intel’s vision for the Internet of Things, which centers around accelerating business transformation through a robust end-to-end IoT solution, connecting both existing systems and new systems into a secure infrastructure,” said Ton Steenman, vice president, IoT Solutions Group, Intel. “Enabling IoT scale requires an open solutions architecture facilitated by standards and a strong ecosystem. The IIC will help accelerate the momentum and make the Internet of Things a reality more quickly.”
Specifically, the IIC’s charter will be to encourage innovation by:
- Utilizing existing and creating new industry use cases and test beds for real-world applications;
- Delivering best practices, reference architectures, case studies, and standards requirements to ease deployment of connected technologies;
- Influencing the global standards development process for Internet and industrial systems;
- Facilitating open forums to share and exchange real-world ideas, practices, lessons, and insights;
- Building confidence around new and innovative approaches to security.
As founding members, AT&T, Cisco, GE, IBM and Intel will each hold permanent seats on an elected IIC Steering Committee along with four other elected members.
Given the importance of this technology, the federal government is investing over $100 million/year in R&D related to cyberphysical systems, and has been partnering with the private sector on a series of testbeds in areas such as healthcare, transportation, smart cities, and increasing the security of the electric grid.
“By linking physical objects to the full power of cyberspace, the Industrial Internet promises to dramatically reshape how people interact with technology,” said Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “The Administration looks forward to working with public-private collaborations like the new IIC to turn innovative Industrial Internet products and systems into new jobs in smart manufacturing, health care, transportation and other areas.”
The IIC will be managed by Object Management Group (OMG), a nonprofit trade association in Boston.