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The business engine for IoT pilots: Turning the Internet of things in Europe into an economically successful and socially accepted vibrant ecosystem

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Be-IoT (The business engine for IoT pilots: Turning the Internet of things in Europe into an economically successful and socially accepted vibrant ecosystem)

Reporting period: 2016-11-01 to 2017-12-31

Be-IoT - Summary for Publication

The overall goal of Be-IoT (one of the CSA’s of the IoT-European Platforms Initiative) was to foster a vibrant IoT-ecosystem in Europe. In order to reach this goal, Be-IoT focused on three main pillars: Community Building, Business Building and Communication.

“Community Building” drove the collaboration among projects and engagement with external stakeholders, such as developers and entrepreneurs. “Business Building” enabled new businesses based on the developed IoT-platform technologies. The accompanying but overarching pillar of “Communication” was essential for the success of these activities. Communication activities such as branding, promotion and media relations supported the projects to refine their strategic positioning.

The underlying innovative climate and societal acceptance for IoT was stimulated by Be-IoT’s trust building activities, such as education on privacy and security challenges.
In the first phase of the projects, Be-IoT built up all relevant Communication Channels for IoT-EPI (Website, Social Media, Media Relations). Meanwhile all IoT-EPI projects benefited from added value through common tools and messages (especially shared effort, increased reach and impact).
Collaboration among the projects was the most important precondition to build the basis for a sustainable IoT-EPI ecosystem. Therefore, all activities of IoT-EPI followed a collaborative approach. Be-IoT’s main avenues for collaboration were the work done in Task Force Groups, common Communication and event planning, organisation of internal IoT-EPI Meetings and further collaboration workshops. In one example, representatives from all seven projects met for a full day collaborative workshop in Vienna. As a result, the projects were able to identify individual strengths and common challenges and discussed ways to address them together.

How to leverage each other is as important as defining the competitive advantages of each project. In order to define the core strengths and USP, IoT-EPI projects took part in individual 1-on-1 sessions and pitch trainings. In addition, the projects worked on how to address these messages to cooperation partners, users and customers (e.g. participation in Storytelling and Social Media trainings).

Engagement with local communities was defined as one of the major drivers for community building. At the several IoT-EPI meetups for example, with 50+ attendees on average, each EPI project had the opportunity to introduce their approach and also receive valuable feedback from the community. This approach, fully supported by all IoT-EPI projects, enabled interaction with communities outside the EU and Research environments.

Towards the end of year one, Be-IoT started focusing on Open Calls support by implementing a common application submission and community platform - F6S. symbIoTe was the first project to use this platform for their open calls in November 2016. Since then, their success and learnings have fueled the use of the F6S platform for subsequent open calls of other projects.
A further important milestone was the “IoT-EPI Get-together Berlin” in March 2017. Here, representatives from all projects were meant to gather in Berlin, for a series of common sessions and events over several days. The event, unfortunately, could not go on as planned due to an untimely airport strike in Berlin. Nevertheless, Be-IoT managed to put together a condensed version of the meetings for the attendees present. One of the highlights of that week was the IoT-EPI Stakeholder event “IoT-EPI Meet & Greet”. The event brought together 100+ relevant people from different sections of society: entrepreneurs, developers, investors and industry for promotion of IoT-EPI and informal networking. Another key event was the “IoT-EPI Challenge”, where 16 entrepreneurial teams with diverse backgrounds worked on addressing business, technical and legal challenges facing the projects. The challenge gave the projects an informal platform to network and prepare potential cooperation (e.g. in the context of the Open Calls). The two events subsequently had a positive impact on community building activities of individual projects.

In the context of business building, knowledge transfer on relevant topics was the key focus in the initial phase in 2016. This was achieved by holding webinars and in-person talks on topics such as Open Source Business Models. In the next stage, we transitioned from knowledge transfer to hands-on business building activities (starting early 2017). Project teams would work on key topics such as refining their value propositions and coming up with concrete data-driven business models for their projects. The workshops formats were a mix of in-person and webinar format.

Recently concluded major activities include: Best-practices on leveraging local communities, the creation of high-quality IoT-EPI brochures, Trust & Security checklists for IoT-EPI Projects, Involvement in IoT community events & conferences around Europe, Innovation Hubs Report & organizing further community engagement activities around Europe (“IoT Innovation Night” Series of 9 Meetups).

Key Statistics of Program:
Total Online Reach: 700,000+ Impressions
Total Offline Reach: 21,000+
Conferences attended (with IoT-EPI booth): 17 conferences in 10 countries (EU + Israel)
IoT-EPI Organized Community Events: 11 events in 9 countries (EU + Israel)
The underlying pillars of Be-IoT: Community Building, Business Building and Communication all had a positive impact on building a vibrant eco-system surrounding Internet of Things in Europe. Not only did the initiative create acceptance towards new IoT technologies but also instilled a sense of trust among general public and relevant stakeholders. The initiative also played a crucial role in enabling traditionally research oriented projects to think in market terms. Giving impetus to the motto, “From lab to the market”, Be-IoT fostered the creation of new businesses based on innovative technologies.