Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Swayed in Sweden? Making the case for Industry 4.0

IoT: your chicken can be remotely defrosted 
and roasted. Eat it yourself, or arrange 
for consumption to be "out-sauced" ...
Last week this weblog posted this preview of the then-imminent CIP Forum. Well, the Forum has been and gone -- but not without leaving its mark. Aistemos CEO Nigel Swycher, who was honoured to be one of the presenters in this prestigious invitation-only event, has given us this short note:
Gothenburg can proudly claim to be the home of European IP Strategy. Over the past three days, Chalmers and the University of Gothenburg hosted the CIP Forum to debate the IP challenges of Convergence, otherwise referred to as 'IoT' (Internet of Things) and Industry 4.0 [incidentally, Bo Heiden, Deputy Director of CIP, is the keynote speaker at the Aistemos Party on 20 October]. 
The panels were led by European corporates such as Ericsson, Nokia, Sanvik, Volvo, Assa Abloy, Philips and Nestlé, to name just a fewThese are a few of the key messages that emerged from the Forum:
* Not many companies have an IoT strategy (some 60%, it seems, do not), but they probably need one [and they should at least ask themselves if they do, ideally on a regular basis, since the relevance of IoT is driving it into sectors that hitherto may have considered themselves too remote from it];

* Many of the key challenges relating to connectivity, data aggregation and analytics, interoperability and security are unfamiliar [allied to this is the prospect that, where such familiarity exists within a company, it does not do so at the right level within its decision-making hierarchy];

* IoT points to entirely new business models, not just hooking things to the internet [think iTunes, rather than ordering CDs online];
* We are in the early days of IoT, which are still testing out the scope of technical possibility rather than focusing mainly on consumer utility [ie "what can we do with it?" rather than "who will buy into it if we do it?"];

* The IoT ecosystems are going to be larger and more complex and require greater collaboration [at least for the foreseeable future, though streamlining and simplifying IoT ecosystems will eventually be expected to reap rewards];

* IP is going to underpin the new business models and there is currently a patent arms race [evidence of this can be seen in the hot-off-the-press Aistemos Industry 4.0 Report];

* Ericsson, Qualcomm and others have announced Avanci, a fresh approach to patent pools, in the hope that FRAND licensing becomes the norm [If properly handled, FRAND licensing can make technologies from many sources equally available to all, facilitating the development of shared technical standards and reducing the wastage incurred by patent infringement litigation. But the key word here is "If" ...];

* While IoT will drive more standardisation, the existence of IP rights will remain of critical importance as a means to protect competitive advantage [IP also enables competitors to differentiate their products and services while still sharing technical standards];

* The stand-out difference between IoT and previous technology revolutions is data-centricity: however, many of the ownership and control issues are not well understood by suppliers or individuals [in both its raw and its refined forms, data is a notoriously different commodity to harness, particularly in areas of interface between different skill sets].
Above all beware of jargon: IoT is not one thing, but many. It includes Connectivity, Sensors, Cloud Computing, Robotics, 3D Printing -- to name but a few.
Nigel Swycher's PowerPoint frames, from the session on "Innovation Information and Analytics", can be checked out here.

The next iteration of this invitation-only event will take place in 2018.

No comments:

Post a Comment