AT&T, Cisco, GE, IBM and Intel have formed 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 organisations to more easily connect and optimise 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.

Specifically, the IIC’s charter will be to encourage innovation by:
* Utilising 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; and
* 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 organisation, but for humanity,” says Janos Sztipanovits, E Bronson Ingram Distinguished Professor of Engineering and director of the Institute for Software Integrated Systems (ISIS) at 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 organisations capitalise on this opportunity.

Given the importance of this technology, the federal government is investing over $100-million per 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.

The IIC is open to any business, organisation 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.

“The Industrial Internet builds upon AT&T’s vision of enabling people to operate anything remotely, anytime and virtually anywhere,” says Mike Troiano, vice-president: Advanced Mobility Solutions at AT&T Business Solutions.

“The IIC is an assembly of the world’s leading technology innovators working to mobilise devices and machines around the world, whether they’re in an office building or on a ship in the middle of the ocean. Together, we share a common goal of building a more connected world.”

“Ninety-nine percent of everything is still unconnected. As the world looks to connect more things over the Internet, it is creating the next industrial revolution. Cisco is collaborating with Industry leading companies to break through the barriers of connecting things in industrial environments safely and securely, and paving the way for the Internet of Things,” says Guido Jouret, vice-president of Internet of Things Business Group at Cisco.

“As leaders we have come together to drive the ecosystem and market development of Industrial Internet applications and ensure organisations around the world can more easily create better services, access better data, and most importantly, seamlessly connect all the pieces together,” says Bill Ruh, vice-president ofGE Global Software.

“The IIC has been established to achieve this goal through the creation of common architectures and use cases that will enable businesses in aviation, transportation, healthcare or energy to ‘plug-and-play’ Industrial Internet technologies anywhere, anytime.”

“IBM’s vision of a Smarter Planet is being realised 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,” says Ron Ambrosio, Distinguished Engineer & chief technology officer: Smarter Energy Research at IBM.

“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,” says Ton Steenman, vice president: IoT Solutions Group at 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.”