The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), a global organisation formed to promote the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has signed a MoU with the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) to help ensure interoperability for the industrial Internet in China.
The IIC says it and CAIT will identify and share best practices, collaborate on testbeds and research and development projects, realise interoperability by harmonising architecture and other elements and collaborate on standardisation.
The IIC said the agreement was one of a number made by its newly formed Liaison Working Group, which it describes as “the gateway for formal relationships with standards and open-source organisations, consortia, alliances, certification and testing bodies and government entities/agencies.”
Such initiatives are likely to become increasingly important as the Industrial Internet gathers momentum through initiatives in most of the major manufacturing nations.
The first of these was Industrie 4.0, an initiative of the German Government that kicked off in 2012. The IIC and the Industrie 4.0 movement have each developed reference architectures for the Industrial Internet of Things: the Reference Architecture Model for Industrie 4.0 (RAMI4.0) and the Industrial Internet Reference Architecture (IIRA).
In March 2016 they met to discuss the potential alignment of their efforts and in May 2016, the IIC announced that the two organisations had “laid a foundation for working on concrete results with a joint roadmap [with] the main focus on the areas of standardisation and joint testbeds/test environments. … [and] follow-up meetings have been scheduled in order to build up on the positive dynamics of the meeting.”
China has an equivalent to the Industrie 4.0 initiative and last year the Economist magazine said China was well positioned to become a global leader in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) market, as industrial use of connected devices eclipsed consumer gadgets.
The role of CAICT
CAICT is a research academy under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology with over 2,400 employees. It is a specialised think-tank for the government, and an innovation and development platform for the industry. It holds a service portfolio that covers information and communication technology, the integration of ICT and industries, such as 5G, Internet IoT and industrial Internet, cloud computing, big data, Intelligent manufacturing etc.
It is a leading think-tank that contributes to the development and innovation of the country and the ICT industry by providing support and services in terms of national strategies, plans, policies, standards, technology labs, testing and certification etc.
In particular it is the national core supporting organisation for industrial Internet, intelligent manufacturing and Internet relevant actions to the Chinese government, and is involved in the drafting of the “Internet+ action plan,” “Made in China 2025,” and other national strategies and guidance on IoT, cloud computing, big data and Broadband China.