Ireland gets industrial Internet of Things platform

Dr Orna Berry, EMC, speaking at the launch of the industrial IoT platform INFINITE.



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16 June 2015 | 0

A new industrial Internet of Things (IoT) innovation platform has been launched by EMC and Vodafone Ireland that will support and enable the testing and development new technologies.

The International Future Industrial Internet test bed or INFINITE, was developed with an initial €2 million investment by EMC and Vodafone Ireland at EMC’s Cork centre of excellence and deployed across three data centres, including the Cork Internet Exchange (CIX). The INFINTE test bed has achieved approval from the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC).

IIC approval
The project is the first IIC approved test bed in Europe and supported by the Department of Jobs through IDA Ireland.

“The industrial Internet will start the next industrial revolution,” Joe Salvo, IIC founder

Speaking at the launch, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, said that capacity for IoT technologies to transform lives is phenomenal, and that Ireland needs to be an early mover in the sector. The Minster said that there is no reason why Ireland, with strengths in areas such as pharmaceuticals and information technology, could not be a leader in connected health.

“Today’s announcement that EMC and Vodafone have chosen Ireland as the location of this platform is a very exciting development and a great example of what is possible in this area,” said Minister Bruton. “This will make a major difference to our efforts in this area and I look forward to working closely with these two companies as we seek to develop innovative Internet of Things services in Ireland.”

Encompassing all tech
The INFINITE platform encompasses all the significant technologies, domains and platforms, said EMC, to support businesses to introduce major advancements in cloud, networks, mobile, wireless, edge gateways, sensors and analytics that are defining IoT globally. This is made available to organisations that wish to create products capitalising upon IoT and will considerably reduce the cost and time of development.

EMC said that the scale and scope of the project means the platform can be used simultaneously by companies in multiple fields including healthcare, transport, and financial services, to support applications with a need for mobile communication and dynamic configuration.

Anne O’Leary, CEO, Vodafone Ireland, said that IoT was enabling business models that were unimaginable just a short time ago. Highlighting the automotive industry, she gave the example of Porsche cars that now have features built-in such as remote disable and GPS tracking, as well as remote start and defrost, all controlled from a smart phone via Vodafone services.

O’Leary also gave the example of how monitoring technologies are allowing elderly people to stay in their own homes longer, while diabetes sufferers can have active monitoring services in their own homes, thanks to developments in sensor, network and monitoring technologies.

These developments will make Ireland an attractive destination for the next generation of IoT development, argued O’Leary.

Testing assumptions
Dr Orna Berry, corporate vice president innovation, EMC Centres of Excellences (CoE) and R&D Centres, said that the company wanted to build a platform that allowed people to examine the evolving world before it arrives, to let them test assumptions, not just about cloud, big data, mobile and the like, but also to allow them make new connections to see new possibilities.

“INFINITE will prove to be a valuable Industrial Internet test bed for a countless number of industries, including Smart Cities and healthcare,” said Dr Richard Soley, executive director, Industrial Internet Consortium. “As the need for more dynamic systems continues to grow, organisations will turn to utilising mobile networks to connect to virtual systems. This test bed is going to prove the viability of doing all this with systems that require the utmost security — such as those used by hospitals and emergency medical services.”

Lack of readiness
Despite the potential for transformation, few organisations seem ready to take full advantage. Stan Schneider, RTI CEO, and IIC steering committee chair cited survey results in a World Economic Forum report entitled “Industrial Internet of Things: Unleashing the Potential of Connected Products and Services”, that found 72% of respondents believe that the development of the Industrial Internet will be disruptive to their businesses and industries, and more (79%) think those disruptions will occur within the next five years. However, 88% admit that they are not yet ready for this change.

“These disruptions will manifest themselves … in the form of the outcome economy and an integrated human-machine workforce,” said the report.

Schneider concluded with a quote from the IIC founder, Joe Salvo of GE: “The industrial Internet will start the next industrial revolution.”



TechCentral Reporters

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