TLI Hosts International Symposium on Information and Communication Technologies, Policies and Applications | Technological Leadership Institute

Posted on
July 6, 2017
Collage of photos from the PICASSO 2017 event

It is our mission at the Technological Leadership Institute (TLI) to develop local and global leaders for technology-intensive enterprises. That is why we were proud to host the “Trans-Atlantic Symposium on ICT Technology and Policy for a Smart Society,” an interdisciplinary, international and cross-functional event on June 19-20. The symposium was organized in partnership with the PICASSO project of the European Commission’s Horizon 20-20 Research Program. The following are key highlights of the symposium:

  • On the technology side, the focus was on “hot topic” information and communication technologies (ICTs): Internet of Things (IoT), cyber-physical systems (CPS), big data and 5G networks. The synergies among these technologies were prominent in discussions.
  • Speakers and guests highlighted the intimate connections between technology and policy. Technology is neither developed nor commercialized in a vacuum; policies and regulations can facilitate or impede innovation, especially in rapidly evolving ICT areas.
  • Applications were addressed under the “smart society” theme, with specific attention to smart cities, smart transportation, smart energy and smart manufacturing (the pervasiveness of “smart” led us to ponder what we meant by the use of this word!).
  • And, finally, the “trans-Atlantic” aspect was front-and-center of the event. More than 40 percent of our many attendees were from Europe, and this was the first visit to the Twin Cities and the University of Minnesota for the substantial majority of them.

With so many first-time visitors, the symposium also allowed us to showcase TLI, the University of Minnesota and the Twin Cities. University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler opened the event with a message of inclusiveness and cooperation in his opening remarks. Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak also spoke, giving a moving address that depicted the metro and state as always welcoming to people from all over the world. He also highlighted the increasing importance of international collaborations. Some European participants commented on the “European flavor” of the Twin Cities — high praise to some of us!

For two days, the symposium featured several keynote lectures, plenary panel session, and parallel sessions. Keynote speakers included Henning Schulzrinne, the chief technology officer of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC); Chris Greer, senior executive at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for IoT and CPS; Andreas Metzger, deputy secretary general of the European Big Data Value Association; Chaitan Baru, the NSF senior advisor for data science; Haydn Thompson, CEO of THHINK Group; Christoph Runde, general manager of the Virtual Development Center; and TLI Director Dr. Massoud Amin.

The symposium agenda, with links to presentations and a full participant list, is available here. Financial and organizational support came from the European Commission, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), IEEE Control Systems Society’s Outreach Fund, Intelligent Manufacturing Systems, BILAT USA 4.0 and Clean Energy Economy Minnesota.

We are delighted with how well the symposium went — in terms of the quality of presentations, the depth of discussions, the engagement of the audience and overall organization. It appears others were too based on the following unsolicited feedback we received after the event!

Photo of feedback from the PICASSO 2017 event

The PICASSO project will continue for another year with TLI as a U.S. partner. Until then, we will build upon the discussions at the symposium. Another event is planned for next year, and reports and analyses are in the works.

To stay informed, subscribe to the PICASSO mailing list and visit PICASSO CROSSROADS – a new information hub dedicated to E.U.-U.S. ICT collaboration. CROSSROADS is available on dedicated webpages and as a mobile app, and it provides users with E.U.-U.S. project databases, information on existing collaborative initiatives, networks and programs, event suggestions and more.

To learn more about TLI or any of its three Master of Science programs, attend an upcoming information session or arrange an individual appointment with a member of our admissions team.

About the Author

Photo of Tariq Samad

Tariq Samad, PhD

  • Honeywell/W.R. Sweatt Chair in Technology Management
  • Senior Fellow
  • Director of Graduate Studies - MOT
  • MDI Faculty

Honeywell/W.R. Sweatt Chair in Technology Management

Dr. Tariq Samad brings more than 30 years of professional experience, leadership and expertise to TLI. His corporate career was spent at Honeywell, where he focused on technology strategy and management, encompassing the end-to-end concept-to-commercialization pathway. He also has substantial experience in research and innovation globally, and works with TLI to pursue research interests in areas such as clean energy, advanced manufacturing and smart cities. Dr. Samad serves as the director of graduate studies for the Master of Science in Management of Technology degree program at TLI.

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