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The first session of the Global Forum 2015 was introduced by the Chair Mr. Kari Terho. Terho pointed out that even if the discussion around the Internet of Things (IoT) is all about connectivity, the connectivity isn’t the issue at all, anyway not in the small country like Finland, but there are other things that are even more important. Terho talked about machine to machine (M-M) connectivity. The problem and the key issue is actually how to use real time data in decision making, thus combining the data from machines and utilize it.


Terho continued that a big difference can be made to the consumers with the IoT if the companies understand that the things aren’t the thing but in the end it’s all about the applications. In order to gain benefit from the IoT, companies have to be brave and start testing and piloting their ideas, because these things are still new for everyone.


The moderator, Jean-Pierre Chamoux opened the floor for discussions. The first speaker was Mr. Harri Kopola from VTT technical research centre of Finland, who talked about the real world IoT solutions from sensor to cloud. He explained that we need to build solutions and applications to ensure connectivity. One practical example was the Singaporean harbor built by VTT, which enables the machines to cooperate in a connected way and help the people working in the harbor.


Mr. Gerald Santucci, Head of Unit Knowledge Sharing, European Commission, continued by talking about the great potential of the IoT. “The IoT isn’t just another technology hype, but it is dynamic and here to stay.” Mr. Santucci presented that the IoT will expand with yearly rates over 20% in value between 2013 and 2020. Combined, the IoT, Cloud and Big Data can offer new business opportunities for companies. Mr. Santucci ended the presentation with a relevant open question for everyone to think about “Where will the value come from in the future?” (The video of the interview of Gerald Santucci reveals his own idea what the answer is!:


Mr. Samuel Laurinkari, Senior Manager, EU Government Relations in eBay, said that there are many barriers that make it hard to sell things to other people, such as legal barriers, customs, product rules, manufactures, limiting the retail and technical measures. eBay has its own philosophy to the IoT, which is all about eliminating the unnecessary barriers that people may have when selling things to each other.


Mr. Keiichiro Seki, Head of Research, Center for Strategic Management & Innovation from Nomura Research Institute continued that digitalization may need structural changes within companies. He also pointed out that there may easily be misunderstandings when talking about the IoT, because people understand it differently.


Mr. Denis Gardin, Senior Vice President in Airbus Group Corporate, started by discussing about big data analytics and using it to improve efficiency, savings and quality over the lifecycle of an aircraft development and employment. He also presented issues that Airbus Group finds challenging. One of the biggest challenges he mentioned was to train individuals to acquire new competences within the company, generate value and drive the new business model.


Antti Aumo, Executive Vice President in Finpro focused on the Smart traffic opportunities in Finland – an application that can really benefit everyone’s daily life. One of the global trends is the digitalization of people moving around regularly, which means all the related technology has to be reliable. Besides, this application needs to provide the fastest solution which explores hybrid service models, trains, buses, subs, taxis etc. working together do meet the needs of the user, and saving them time to move around by combined use of multiple transportation vehicles.


After that, Mr. Shoumen Datta, Research Affiliate MIT, in SVP IIC, illustrated the achievements of his research group up by now by playing a video on the usage of IoT.


Mr. Alberto Di Felice, Government Affairs Senior Analyst in Qualcomm Europe, thinks we need to create new standard in securing users’ privacy because of technology developed. The scary reality is that now we are able to know of every action of users just by silently accessing their Smartphones or Smart infrastructure and storing the data in our database. The use of this data needs to be highly regulated with proper administrator authorities.


Ms. Mariane Cimino, Consultant in Génétique, focused on the implementation of IoT in the dairy cattle breeding or the so called animal husbandry.  A survey-based research in this area revealed that 67% of farmers have at least one connected tool and 38% of the unequipped breeders envisage equipping themselves in the short term. These numbers show that the spread of electricity equipment in breeding field is not the problem for the appliance of IoT because the  farmers don’t refuse to use high-tech equipment in their daily working.