Claudio Carnevali created his first hardware company, design and manufacturing, when he was only twenty-four years old; now he is co-founder and CEO of openPicus and Smartables. Dr. Carnevali will be keynote speaker at IOT360 Summit 2015, the Second International Summit on Internet of Things, which will take place in Rome, Italy on October 27-29. He talked to us about the delicate balance between research and market in IoT.
IOT360 has arrived to its second edition. What can we expect from the Summit this year?
The moment for IoT market is really hot so I expect much more involvement from Government and Corporates in general. Everybody is aware that IoT is going to create a revolution in any sector. Smartphones and connected devices are changing people’s expectations about services and the way they interact with the cities for example. In one word: IoT has to make life easier so I hope that the Summit this year will focus on real applications and applied research.
“Success Stories” will be an important panel of the Summit. What are the main obstacles to transferring research outcomes into concrete and successful products?
This is a big question. I can speak about Italy only. What I see is that the academic and research world is still too far away from the people and businesses needs. I think both worlds will benefit from a better integration, but sometimes the main issue is the different timescale. Companies have to be fast to compete in today’s market and we measure time and deadlines in days or weeks. Research as not this kind of constrains normally so their timescale is measured in months. I don’t know if it is possible to fill this gap, for sure a good way is to make easier the integration of the researchers into companies in order to have a stronger exchange of experiences and methods.
Which role does IOT360 effectively play in order to promote a healthy cooperation between research and industry?
At least putting together the different actors is a good beginning, but for sure is not enough. I think that the Summit can lead also European funds to drive those money into real projects that are involving companies and researchers. So the Summit can act as a facilitator and as a trust for this kind of activities.
Would you give us your idea of a balanced model able to cross-check research results, business plan and citizens’ needs?
Companies normally have small budgets for market research, especially in a new market that is going to be created almost from scratch. So the first benefit for everyone is that research focuses much more on understanding what citizens appreciate the most, so basically what they are ready to pay for. This is the most important starting point, if there is no will to pay there is no business and the technical research is almost useless. Then once those economic data are collected I expect task forces made by research and companies (with proven experience on this market) in order to speed up the creation and distribution of IoT devices. There is a weak point on IoT that almost nobody is talking about: those devices need a Cloud service that has a monthly cost. Is the end user ready to pay a fee on each devices? How much? Can it become a new business for TelCos?