The EIT ICT Labs summer school on Internet of Things, linked to the action line Future Networking Solutions, was hosted by KTH and offered hot summer weather and hot topics. The students of the Future Networking Solutions - Internet of Things (IoT) summer school in Stockholm, hosted by KTH, were lucky to, have chosen to come to Stockholm since the Scandinavian summer was the hottest for many years. The organisers Gunnar Karlsson, KTH, Henrik Abramowicz, Ericsson and Martin Vendel, KTH had been very successful in attracting interesting lecturers, providing the latest updates in research and business relating to IoT.
From Ericsson AB, John Fornehed, Head of System Area M2M and Manfred Dasselaar, Service and Business Model Innovation Researcher shared their fields of expertise. Prominent guests from Spain, France and China provided unique insights, such as ERC grantee Jörg Widmar, Research professor at IMDEA Networks Institute in Madrid, Hermann Brand, Director of Innovation from ETSI in Nice and Zhibo Pang who is a research scientist at ABB in Sweden and adjunct professor at the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications.
Hard work, hacksprint and hands-on experiences
Blended with the technological input there were several speakers providing the students with tools for innovation and business modelling, communications and management skills. After the first week of gathering data and formulating potential business ideas to be further developed in the second week it was also time for practical hands-on building of devices. An IoT hack-sprint was set up by Evothings, a Swedish startup supported by EIT ICT Labs, providing a platform that enables mobile application prototyping for the IoT industry.
The work load was substantial and the weather was tropical so the social excursion on the weekend by boat through the archipelago to the old resort of Sandhamn was very welcome. The two weeks programme was concluded with final business plan presentations at the Ericsson AB headquarters in Kista. The jury could not agree on only one winner out of the six teams so the top positions was shared by IoTea and Kul:Park.
IoTea (team members: Ásgeir Bjarnason, Deepak Vedha Raj Sudhakar, Mihret Getye, Moritz Müller, and Sebastian Miga) offers business-critical information to tea farmers, with the potential to improve their yield substantially.
Kul:Park (team members: Ahmed Sadekoffer, Almaz Kidane, Khalid Zerouali, Kuldeep Singh, and Lauri Võsandi) offers a solution to the urban parking hassle. Both teams focus on low tech initial solutions to build customer base and then gradually move to a widely deployed sensor network solution, promising further significant business potential.
The jury, consisting of Henrik Abramowicz, Ericsson AB, Henrik Blomgren, KTH, Manfred Dasselaar, Ericsson AB, Tim Huse, Cavendi Management Consulting, Magnus Melander, Wbird AB, and Tobias Vahlne, EIT ICT Labs, was very enthusiastic about the business opportunities presented.
Several Summer School ideas have serious business potential
Magnus Melander, serial entrepreneur and investor, even expressed his willingness to become advisor and invest in two of the projects presented. He also hopes to see all teams submitting to and participating in the upcoming EIT ICT Labs Idea Challenge focusing on the Internet of Things:
"It was amazing to feel the energy in the room at the IoT HackSprint™ by Evothings and fantastic to see their eyes when their prototypes started to work, controlled by their smartphones. The quality of the last day team presentations after two weeks of work was fantastic - and I hope to find them all in the upcoming Idea Challenge."