"If the Pandemic has Proven Something Event-wise, is that Nothing Can Replace In-person Networking"

A few days before the event (May 10 to 12), we interviewed Roger Bou, the IOTSWC Managing Director on his feelings about the coming fair as well as the exciting topics to be discussed

  • Roger Bou, IOTSWC Managing Director
    Roger Bou, IOTSWC Managing Director

IEN Europe: After 2 years of a pandemic break, the IOTSWC will be able to take place as a live event from May 10 to 12. What will be the main highlights? Could you give us a preview?

Roger Bou: Well first of all, the main highlight will be to gather the whole IoT industry in person again after the two-year hiatus. I know for sure that companies and experts are eager to resume meeting at the event once again and breathing new impulse into the ecosystem of digital transformation of industries through disruptive technologies.

We are going to host over 300 exhibitors including ABB, Altair, Amazon Web Services, Digicert, EMnify, ESRI, Fiware, Hitachi, Hornet Security, Huawei, KNX, Libelium, RFPD, Relayr, Siemens and Trellix, and 250 experts, headed by Ann Dunkin, Chief Information Officer (CIO) at the US Department of Energy and author of Industrial Digital Transformation: Accelerate digital transformation with business optimization, AI, and Industry 4.0. 

In addition, IOT Solutions World Congress will he jointly held for the first time with Integrated Systems Europe (ISE), the world’s leading professional audiovisual and systems integration show. This will establish an unparalleled ecosystem for digital transformation to professionals from many industries and provide a unique opportunity to explore the crossroads between two different sets of disruptive technologies. IOTSWC will bring to the table the leading experts and companies working on Artificial Intelligence, Digital Twins, Internet of Things and Quantum Computing and ISE will deliver leading companies from the professional AV industry as well as international experts in the field of systems integration in numerous industries. The goal of this co-operation is to highlight the two events’ common ground that offers new ideas and means of collaboration for attendees and exhibitors.

What can visitors expect from this come back and what is provided for those who are unable to return to the fair for various reasons? 

Visitors will be able to take advantage of the experience and knowledge of both companies and experts from a wide array of industries and places, getting a clear image of what can transform a business and provide a competitive edge both through use cases from large corporations and also tailor-made solutions from small but highly specialized companies.

Along these lines is our Testbed Area, one of our trademark initiatives, through which we showcase tangible examples of successful combinations of disruptive technologies. As always, we’ve selected a total of 10 projects from such industries as Automotive, Construction, Food, and Urban management, to name some. 

Cybersecurity will also be one of the main themes at our show. This has become a critical field within the technology landscape as an essential layer for every solution and to underline this importance, the Barcelona Cybersecurity Congress, an annual event co-organized with the Catalan Government, will be jointly held on the same dates as the IOTSWC. The event brings together the main cybersecurity agents and experts and aims to analyze the current challenges in this field, defining patterns to protect against cyberattacks at a sectoral level, and presenting real solutions, tools, and success stories to extend the culture of cybersecurity across all industries.

Do you think that digital networking will also have its importance even after the health crisis?

First of all, if the pandemic has proven something event-wise, is that nothing can replace in-person networking. After two years of being apart, companies, experts, and customers we’re eager to be able to meet again and do business face to face. But we’ve also learnt that the digital medium is an invaluable tool that help us take the event to new horizons.

That is the reason why we’ve launched IOTSWC EXTEND, an online community for content and networking that goes beyond the physical event. The program will not only include networking tools during the event but also all year long. Additionally, those who join the program will also have access to exclusive audiovisual content created just for our community. Including our most inspirational keynote sessions from the physical event, but also awe-inspiring talks and sessions from the brightest minds in industry.

The great internationality of visitors and exhibitors has always been one of the positive features of IOTSWC. What are you expecting from exhibitors this year, and what do you expect from visitors?

Well this year will be something different for sure. One of the main goals of IOTSWC is to gather the key actors in our ecosystem. That means companies, experts, innovators, etc. But more importantly having the right individuals within each company, the real decision makers. If you take a look at the names of exhibiting companies and speakers you can see that is exactly what we bring to the table. But this year we are offering something more. The joint celebration together with ISE and the Barcelona Cybersecurity Congress will provide an unparalleled platform the limits of which we yet have to discover. 

I’m sure that the 2022 edition of IOTSWC will not only be what our visitors expect but it will be much more, and eye and mind opening edition that probably will witness new opportunities for many of our attendees.

What impulses or insights do you expect from the trade fair and exhibitors in the field of connectivity?

High-performance connectivity is at the heart of the digital transformation of industrial systems but also will become fundamental at our homes and also throughout out cities. We’re expecting a wide range of solutions highly adapted to the specific requirements of different applications that will have security at the core of every implementation. I believe that the pandemic drastically reduced the development and deployment of wireless solutions based on 5G and that we are going to see a great number of 5G applications that take advantage of broader data streams and reduced latency. The Infrastructure and Automotive industries will probably be the ones spearheading this movement.

The testbed area is a trademark of IOTSWC. Can you tell us more about these experimentation platforms?

Since its inception, IOTSWC has always had the goal of providing the right tools and examples for companies from many industries to be able to transform themselves and embrace innovation. Testbeds are the embodiment of that. Experimental platforms designed to implement innovative solutions and test them in real-life operating conditions. Moreover, these tests aim at creating ground-breaking products or techniques with the potential to generate new international standards

As we’ve done every edition since 2015, we will be hosting a total of ten of these examples at out Testbed Area. They will range from the Automotive industry to Construction, Food, and Urban management and some of them also have a sustainability angle that we believe is critical today. 

For example, we will be showcasing a smart refrigerator that uses AI cameras to reduce food waste and apply dynamic pricing based on existing stocks that prove how technology can change better suit our businesses, the customers’ needs and the environment’s reducing waste and energy consumption. 

Graduated in political sciences and international relations in Paris, Anis joined the team in early 2019. Editor for IEN Europe and the new digital magazine AI IEN, he is a new tech enthusiast. Also passionate about sports, music, cultures and languages. 

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