Thinking short term can leave a business behind

Focus on short term risks missing out on breakthroughs, says Brian Quinn of Intel

Mon, Jul 14, 2014, 01:15

Reinvestment

It marks a continuation in the multinational corporation’s dedication to reinvesting vast swathes of its $50 billion annual revenue stream into product development as well as research. Of that figure, some $10.7 billion (€7.9 billion) was diverted towards research and development programmes globally, according to Quinn, who also praised EU research funding projects such as Horizon 2020 and the various incarnations of EU framework programmes that he says have prompted 76 Intel projects since 2007.

While lauding Ireland’s progression in the field of third-level courses with significant ICT components, Quinn was of the opinion that informal tech education programmes during students’ more formative years represent an essential component to maintaining a flourishing industry for future generations.

“People tend to look upon the education discussion as nine o’clock to three o’clock in the Leaving Cert or Junior Cert classroom, but the other informal education channels are so important, and events like the BT Young Scientist exhibition and our own mini-science competition, things that have an informal approach for children as well beyond the classroom are very important,” he said.

Open Interconnect Consortium

Referring to Intel’s recently announced Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) with Dell and Samsung, he pointed to the example of standardisation of mobile phone chargers across Europe as indicative of the consensus-based model that companies within the tech sector must embrace as we approach an age of greater interconnectivity.

“Companies realise that no one tech player can operate independently, and the OIC is important because you need some kind of framework. When you have a tonne of new devices you need some consistency around the communications, standards and frameworks, so it’s about trying to drive a standard, interoperable approach to internet-of-things comms in the future,” said Quinn.

The internet-of-things concept pervaded the Dublin event and proved a focal point of many of the tour’s most influential speakers’ addresses. Far from an abstract, notional idea, Quinn sees its development both as tangible and eminently relatable for non-tech individuals, with plans being put in place to connect everyday items to complex information systems.

“Smaller processors . . . will attach themselves to loads of things and they’ll all connect. It’s very close. Older legacy items like chairs and pens will be slower to adapt to the system, but there’s a lot of stuff that will connect within the next three to five years and drive that connectivity up,” said Quinn.