Neelie Kroes: Creating tomorrow’s Internet


You are here at Campus Party because you have what it takes.  The talent to use new technology to the full.  The attitude prepared to take a risk.  The desire to make a difference.  I want to give you the resources you need to do that. And today we are presenting some new tools, new building blocks that you can use for the innovations of the future.

The Internet has already fundamentally changed so much of our lives.  A trillion-euro marketplace used by billions, transforming every sector from transport to healthcare.  But as it becomes ever more essential, people also take it more and more for granted.  They imagine that this is “it”; that we’ve reached the limit of its possibilities.  This has long been a common attitude.  Even just a hundred years ago, many people thought that everything worthwhile had already been invented. “What could possibly top the light bulb”, they said?  And today, likewise, many seem to think that the Internet will – or should – basically stay just like it is. And they assume that the current market structure – dominated by large companies from across the Atlantic – will also stay the same.

Well, maybe that’s a natural reaction.  But I don’t see it like that. I think there’s an opportunity for great innovation – and an opportunity for Europe. And – given that you’re here today – I think you see that too.  Because – make no mistake – research and innovation will keep powering change.  New technologies will keep arriving.  Companies, business models and market leaders will keep changing too.  Tomorrow’s internet landscape could look very different.  New smart systems, available on the go.  New social media replacing the old.  Cloud computing that is scalable, flexible, everywhere. Enormous data sets, used to benefit science, healthcare, our economy, and our everyday lives.  And a more secure and a more private Internet.  Well, maybe Europe can do better than what we have recently seen from the US!  But today let me highlight just one aspect of the Future Internet: the Internet of Things.  According to some, by 2040 that network could connect 50 to 100 trillion different objects.  Everyone, and virtually everything.  There are huge innovative applications on offer, with exponential growth.  The global market in Machine-to-Machine is already worth €34 billion; it could rise at 30% per year.  With trillions in global revenues by 2020.

And it doesn’t work in isolation: it supports other domains, too, from cloud computing and Smart Cities, to healthcare and intelligent transport.  In short: there are opportunities on offer, and not just for big established companies.  I’d like to ensure those chances available for everyone.  So if you’ve got a good idea, you can put it out there, and enjoy the benefits.  FI-WARE is one way we are levelling that playing field: a project to make innovative technologies available for all.  Technologies that you can use and create with.  Because we have these building blocks on offer.  You can take them, combine them, add functionality that works for one domain or other, and create something new that works.  Giving you access to a great innovation resource.  I know that access to these platforms matters.  Over the last 5 years, typical US and Asian ICT companies’ sales went up by almost 50%.  While sales by their European competitors stayed the same, or even decreased.  We need to change that.  Including through the platforms that enable and support new business models.  From mobile devices to app stores, software, and IP networks; these are the ingredients that help American companies build a network and snowball to success. It’s time we had more of them over in Europe too.  Smart cities are a great example.  They create platforms, and use them, making open data and applications available – to citizens, to developers, to innovators, to come up with yet more ideas.  Or a more secure and private cloud.  Made in Europe.  But platforms don’t build themselves.  And this is where initiatives like the FI-LAB come in. Led by industry, this is a major investment in generic technology.  Focusing not on specific applications: but on the building blocks essential to creating them.  This is a great way to achieve that.  And as of today, FI-LAB is open and accessible to everybody.  Available to all to create platforms, applications, or whatever you want.  And guess what?  The technology is free of charge.  And state-of-the-art.  Think about Security and Privacy by design, Social Connected TV, Augmented Reality, Instant Mobility or even Smart Farming.  You can be the first inventing the killer applications for new areas.  And deploy across the whole of Europe, more than 500 million people.  The largest market in the world. And beyond!  Fi-Ware building blocks are already being used and validated as we speak.  There are five large scale trials, in healthcare, transport and logistics, media and content, manufacturing, and energy.  And now it’s over to you.  We are moving into the next phase. Here to read more.

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