IIC seeks cross-sector alliances to bring harmony as IIoT momentum builds
The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) is on a charm offensive to strike cross sector alliances with trade bodies, communities and consortia to bring greater harmony and faster transformation of industry as it engages with new digital technologies.
The IIC said last month it had “global liaisons” with 40 organisations for the development of the industrial ‘internet-of-things’ (IIoT) market, covering work on joint marketing, workshops, and research.
Its partnerships include with standards development organisations (SDOs), open-source communities, technology and industry focused consortia, certification and testing bodies, regional organisations and government entities and agencies.
The IIC announced a deal with the International Data Spaces Association (IDSA), an initiative to support the exchange of data based on standards and common governance, to “advance their shared interests”. The pair are seeking to “prevent fragmentation” and “harmonise various aspects” in the IIoT space, they said.
Analyst house ABI Research said last month, on the back of the International Manufacturing Trade Show in Chicago, the manufacturing landscape, in particular, is “about to change and change in a big way”.
“The debate over if digitisation will impact this market has passed. The key questions that should be asked by all involved in this market now are: When will these changes happen? What do I need to do to prepare for this? And finally, which horse do I bet on in terms of technological investment?,” it reflected.
Data governance is an essential part of the dialogue for enterprises, as they engage with new digital technologies and working methods, and the market at large seeks to innovate.
Boris Otto, deputy chairman of the IDSA board and executive director at the Fraunhofer Institute, commented: “Data is the centre of IoT innovation. Our collaboration will advance data sovereignty as one of the fundamental building blocks of the digital economy.”
Wael William Diab, chair of the IIC’s liaison working group, and a senior director at Huawei, said the IIC-IDSA partnership was designed to drive security and trust within industry around the handling of data.
“Data and trustworthiness are an important part of successful IoT adoption. The collaboration with IDSA adds to the industrial IoT ecosystem that IIC is driving,” he said.
The IIC’s liaison working group is in charge of relationship building. “The diverse cross-section and volume of liaison partners helps the IIC disseminate requirements and results to the ecosystem as well as collect input from domain experts,” said Diab.
“The net result is the acceleration of IIoT adoption, the creation of supporting work such as the creation of requirements for standards and best practices and ensuring that the IIC testbeds serve their industries.”
In its state-of-the-market review after the Chicago event, ABI said additive manufacturing is on the cusp of scale deployment, and generative design will reduce wastage, accelerate design, and revolutionise material usage.
It also reserved special mention for virtualisation and visualisation techniques in manufacturing, like digital twins, and suggested ‘cobots’ and autonomous material handling robots will bring more efficient manufacturing. Innovation will spill over into the supply chain, it said.
“These technological advancements hold the promise of enabling a cleaner, more efficient, and relevant manufacturing sector for developed markets,” said Stuart Carlaw, chief research officer at ABI Research.
“Importantly, some of these technologies will enable the democratisation of automation down into the small and medium-sized enterprises. This will have significant impacts on gross domestic product and national output.”