Lab report: Taking on the world's challenges (with help from data analytics and IoT)

Wed, 2015-06-10 06:00 -- Doug Peeples

From improving healthcare and agricultural yields to meeting energy and water needs as urban populations soar, Intel is on a mission to bring bright minds together to find solutions. The latest examples: a big data analytics lab near Paris and an IoT Ignition Lab in Ireland.

Big data analytics has been showing solid results in a variety of industries: it has helped them create new services, grow their competitiveness and make the most of their operational efficiency. Council Associate Partner Intel and the Paris-based Teratec consortium are betting big data analytics can take on a major role in improving personalized healthcare, cutting traffic pollution and congestion in cities and maximizing crop performance to feed ever-increasing populations.

The game plan
That’s what Ron Kasabian, general manager for Big Data Solutions for Intel’s Datacenter and Connected Group Systems Group, says in a recent post. To accomplish those goals, the two companies are working together to create a big data lab to focus on solutions for health care, smart cities and agricultural yields.

The lab, located in the Teratec consortium’s science and technology park near Paris, will include 80-plus technology and industry companies, labs and research centers, universities and engineering schools, Kasabian said. With Teratec’s help, those groups are pooling their efforts toward simulation and high performance computing.

The challenges
As he put it, “The Teratec members understand that rapid population growth over the coming decades will stress the infrastructure of cities, further tax sources of sustainable food and water resources, and pose new barriers to high-quality health. But they aren’t stopping at the problems – they are focused on finding solutions.

“At Intel, we want to help address these issues – and advance the Teratec mission.”

Ireland to host Intel’s newest IoT innovation and development lab
While it partners in the big data analytics field, Intel also is expanding its presence in the IoT world with the addition of its sixth IoT Ignition Lab, the company’s strategy for partnering with local businesses to find new, smart solutions for the IoT marketplace.

Previously established IoT labs are located throughout Europe and in Turkey and Israel in the Middle East. Leixlip, County Kildare, will be home to the newest addition in Ireland.

Industry estimates indicate 50 billion or so connected devices will be in operation by 2020, a market that represents untold opportunities for many businesses. But there are also accompanying challenges, like market fragmentation, interoperability between devices, security issues, scaling up deployments to match the growth of devices and integrating the new with existing systems.

As Intel says, “To address these challenges, Intel is taking a comprehensive approach to accelerating the develop and deployment of the IoT with a focus on enabling intelligent devices and gateways, speeding up connections of legacy systems to the cloud and enabling end to end analytics to turn big data into actionable information.”

How they do it
Intel’s approach includes bringing in IoT hardware and software vendors, system integrators, business consultants and end users.

Each of the IoT ignition labs specializes in a set of markets. In Ireland, the lab will concentrate on

  • Smart homes and building
  • Smart cities
  • Energy and utilities
  • Smart agriculture

Frank Jones, VP for Intel’s Internet of Things Group, explained the company’s choice. “Ireland has one of the most vibrant tech landscapes in the world and represents for Intel a hub of activity that spans right across our business – we believe there is an opportunity for Ireland to be a leader in this space and to drive innovation that will spur development and growth in IoT worldwide.”

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Doug Peeples is a Portland, Oregon-based writer specializing in technology and energy. Follow @smartccouncil on Twitter.

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