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More leadership required to drive IoT say PETRAS and RAEng

A new report from PETRAS and Royal Academy of Engineering calls for stronger Government leadership to drive IoT adoption

Last week saw the publication of a report from PETRAS and the Royal Academy of Engineering on how to Realise the potential of a trusted smart world. It sets out a series of recommendations to policymakers, regulators and funding bodies on who the UK can realise the benefits of IoT to the full.

The report marks just over three years since the landmark Blackett Review and highlights that whilst many of the barriers identified in that paper remain, the UK is benefitting from a growing but still disjointed IoT market. However, it stresses that we are in the foothills of the benefits that IoT can deliver – with the real gains in productivity and advances in quality of life in areas as separate as manufacturing to social care yet to be achieved. In doing so the report makes clear the importance of recognising the difference between IoT applications in industrial, consumer and public spaces and the need to have different objectives and governance arrangements.

In order to realise these benefits the report outlines a series of detailed recommendations, these include;

  • The need for strong leadership from Government with a strategic forward-looking approach, and with policymaking that is dynamic and responsive to the developments in technology. This strategy should have an identifiable home within Government.
  • A need to consider International ‘umbrella agreements’ on IoT with the UK government work with other governments and international institutions towards an international baseline for IoT data integrity and security for all parties to adopt. With our expertise, the UK should take the opportunity to lead in such activities.
  • Ethical frameworks that are appropriate to support ethical behaviours on IoT should be developed and applied to help minimise risks to society.
  • A need to address the transparency of the cyber safety and security of products, suggesting that the responsibility to achieve this should lie with the manufacturers and service providers, but greater data literacy of the population was also needed
  • The importance of technical real-world demonstrators of developing technologies to understand their implications.

The recommendations around driving the adoption of IoT technologies echoes techUK’s Actions to Accelerate IoT Implementation and we look forward to engaging with the next steps from the report.

If you would like to get involved in techUK's IoT work please contact Matthew Evans, Broadband Stakeholder Group, Smarteruk, Internet Of Things Executive Director

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