Speaking Opportunities
Organizations Working Toward a Common Goal

European Commission

Internet of Things – Architecture was a project funded by CORDIS between 2010 and 2013 which resulted in a comprehensive architectural reference model and a book titled “Enabling Things to Talk”. Both are freely available on the Internet.

Fraunhofer Gesellschaft

The Fraunhofer Society is a longstanding German research organization with an annual research budget of two million euros. Members of the society involved in Industry 4.0 research include: Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA, Factory Operation and Automation IFF , and Experimental Software Engineering IESE. Their work includes the Reference Architecture Model for Industry 4.0.

Industrial Internet Consortium

The IIC was founded in 2014 by several large corporation and is managed by the Object Management Group. The project has so far produced an Industrial Internet Vocabulary and a book titled “Enterprise IoT” which focuses on connected products and services.

Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute

The DMDII was established in 2014 and is funded by the United States government as a means of transferring certain DARPA manufacturing technologies to U.S. industry. The institute’s focus is on the usability of digital data across product lifecycle, also known as the “digital thread”.


The IEEE has begun its own research into the Internet of Things as of 2014. Most interestingly, membership is free to their IoT Community. The IEEE has published a comprehensive paper titled “Toward a definition of the Internet of Things”.

OPC Foundation

The OPC Foundation still remains at the core of industrial standards and protocols. At this time, the OPC-UA protocol is a critical part of M2M and bridging industrial-enterprise networks.

Open Connectivity Foundation

The OCF is the successor to Open Interconnect Consortium with several large corporations as new members in 2016. With a focus on protocol agnostic message exchange, their reference architecture addresses the opaque nature of message payloads.

“Thank You Fraunhofer”

As the fight for standards continues, it should be no surprise that the above organizations are backed by industry leaders, governments, and a great deal of money with high stake interest in the ownership of intellectual properties. The solutions to specific problems are developed and incubated by project bidders. Once successfully implemented, the bidders often claim ownership of the intellectual property and either leverage it to gain competitive advantage or turn it into a commercial offering.

One such example is the MP3 music compression format. After its development, the Fraunhofer Society released a shareware application which was soon pirated and released as “thank you Fraunhofer” for everyone to enjoy. In 2005, MP3 licenses revenues alone generated 100 million Euros for the Fraunhofer Society.

On the other hand, most of these organizations continue to publicly publish papers on their progress, including detailed architecture reference models, which help outsiders get insights into the many directions IIoT could unfold.

We want to thank all of these organizations for the information they disseminate to the public so that, as outsiders, we may continue to question the validity and timeliness of the countless number of IoT approaches on the market.