Xiaohui Yu from China Academy of Telecommunication Research (CATR) of the Ministry of Information Industry (MII) gave a fascinating overview of IoT activity in China. The scale of their investment is well reported so it was useful to hear about the support coming via government, enterprise and research, and where those programmes are being implemented.

“IoT is deemed as an important part of the strategic emerging industries, as a measure for transformations of the mode of economic development, for developing low carbon economy and achieving green and sustainable growth, as a footstone of forging the information society and improving people’s life in China”

Pilot applications are being rolled out in infrastructure (100’s of smart grid trials completed, ITS in 17 provinces), upgrading the traditional industry (agriculture, industry, logistics – this “smart” approach across sectors is aimed at “transforming” the mode of economic development), to serve the people (healthcare and housing) and environment and safety (environment protection and energy saving).

Convergence of information and industrial transformation.

In addition to the different research programmes the MOF (Ministry of Finance) and MIIT (Ministry of Industry and Information Technology) have just launched an IoT Development Special Fund aimed at technology development, industrialisation of the technology, application development and the creation of a “standard public service platform“. The label assigned to the latter has potential to be something quite interesting but it seems there is some uncertainty around what and how it will be delivered. One to watch though.

Florent Frederix reported on a presentation to the European Commission on IoT governance roadmap that was made the previous week to Neelie Kroes, Vice President and EU Commissioner for Digital Agenda. Governance refered to the “rules, processes and behaviour that affect the way in which powers are exercised particularly as regards openness, participation, accountability, effectiveness and coherence.” The five “principles of good governance” presented were:

1. Identification (network address of object and identification of the object) – issues are around maintaining interoperability of identifiers.
2. Privacy and Security (regulatory and technological) – issues being debated around privacy by default, the right to be forgotton and privacy by design, silence of the chips.
3. Ethics (implants, privacy in the home, accountability, liability of objects) – the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies are very interested in creating an independent report and are asking for feedback at http://bit.ly/lW8owj
4. Decentralised architecture (extensions to physical infrastructures such as Smart Grid) – the quest for solutions offering more autonomy and stronger security.
5. The European IoT Norm (self- or co-regulation) – need to be compliant with EU Norm, future IoT recommendations and the legislative framework without the need for specific directive or EU legislation.

This translates into sub working groups in: identification, privacy + security, ethics IoT architectures, IoT standards, multi-stakeholder governance architecture.

A complete paper will be complete by the end of 2011 and will then go to public consultation. Impact assessments and consultations with the commission will occur through 2012 and expected adoption is in early 2013.