AT&T, Cisco, GE, IBM and Intel today announce the formation of the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), an open membership group 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. The consortium will enable organizations to more easily connect and optimize assets, operations and data to drive agility and to unlock business value across all industrial sectors. An ecosystem of companies, researchers and public agencies is emerging to help drive adoption of Industrial Internet applications, a foundational element for accelerating the Internet of Things. The IIC is a newly formed not-for-profit group with an open membership that will take the lead in establishing interoperability across various industrial environments for a more connected world.
"IBM’s vision of a Smarter Planet is being realized as we connect more of the physical world with the Internet, pairing the Internet of Things with advances in analytics, mobile and cloud computing in ways that lead to new insights and efficiencies that can be harnessed for competitive advantage. Smarter cities, utility grids, buildings, and machines are becoming more instrumented, interconnected and intelligent, and through this consortium we will accelerate both innovation and technology advancement,” said Ron Ambrosio, Distinguished Engineer & CTO, Smarter Energy Research, IBM.
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.
"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 the Institute for Software Integrated Systems (ISIS), Vanderbilt University. "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."
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. The Steering Committee will provide leadership and governance to help organizations capitalize on this vast opportunity.
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 is open to any business, organization or entity with an interest in accelerating the Industrial Internet. In addition to gaining an immediate, visible platform for their opinions, consortium members will join in developing critical relationships with leaders in technology, manufacturing, academia and the government on working committees. The IIC will be managed by Object Management Group (OMG), a nonprofit trade association in Boston, Massachusetts.