Activities & Mechanisms

Mechanisms to deliver VCE’s new stream of applications activity include: 

  • Industry Sector Working Groups – These are designed to enable companies within specific industry sectors to explore together shared interests, in order to develop new ideas and bring these forward as White Papers and Member Seminars, exposing them to technology providers from outside their sectors, with a view to seeding new R&D collaborations with communications operators and manufacturers.
  • Collaborative R&D Projects – For many years VCE has used its ‘elective’ model to initiate projects undertaken for a small subset of its industrial membership. Typically a company will conceive a topic for precompetitive R&D, which VCE will then circulate to its membership, with an invitation to explore. Typically 3-6 companies will end up jointly defining and  funding such a programme, perhaps a 6-18 month activity, undertaken for them by an appropriately skilled University.  From 2011, VCE is widening this mechanism, so that where an appropriate SME, for example, already has relevant technology, it too could be contracted to undertake such a project.
  • Exploration Events - VCE works closely with the Knowledge Transfer Networks and other sector bodies (such as innovITS in transport) and will make full use of such links, where appropriate, to more widely seed thinking emerging from within VCE Working Groups.  As an, not-for-profit organization, VCE is well placed and perceived as being independent when advocating technology solutions. Typically VCE seeks to find solutions that can be seen as a solution toolkit, based on global standards, but which member companies can select from, to mix-and-match with its own existing tools and strengths to create differentiated products and services, whilst securing economies of scale.
  • Cross-Industry Working Group – An important key to delivering global telephony & internet penetration was the adoption of global standards. Health, transport, energy, education etc have many common requirements in terms of technical enablers – capabilities such as identity, privacy, security, location, etc – and there is value in exploring the potential for adopting common standardized solutions to secure economies of scale and hence highly scalable solutions.  Working across sectors is also an effective way to surface transferable concepts which may be obvious in one sector, but new to another
  • Industry Visions – VCE’s well established Industry Visions Group explores environmental trends such as demographics, sustainability, etc, as well as identifying the emerging trends in technology evolution.  These are used by member companies as a window on the future – an early warning radar of threats and, perhaps more importantly, opportunities.  In December 2000 VCE published its ‘Visions of 4G’; much of what was anticipated a decade ago is now deployed, some of it enabled by research that was triggered by that Vision. Bringing perspectives from experts in other sectors into this group will enable new concepts to emerge and new possibilities to be enabled.

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