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During the past weeks, I have been often asked the question about the focus of ICT SDO’s activities on ICT only or the expansion to other vertical topics. I think that the only answer to give is… both!

Indeed, the ongoing digital transformation of the society is such that ICT is now impacting profoundly all the sectors of the economy and this trend cannot be successful without strong ICT standards.

The same way, the ICT standardisation process must be much more agile to be aligned with the fast pace of the digital transformation and must also encompass the specificities of the “verticals” using them.

So, a ICT SDO has to focus on excellence of ICT standards and expand its activities towards the “verticals” of particular interest, i.e. those mostly impacted by or depending on ICT technologies and therefore standards.

To be even more convinced and to go beyond the concepts, let’s have a look at a recent European Patent Office newsletter issue: European companies and inventors file more patent applications in 2018.

In this article, we learn that, within the top 10 sectors driving most of the patent applications in 2018, the “verticals” are the ones growing the more, in percentage, with respect to 2017:

Ranking these 1O topics by order of increase of applications, in percentage, is more informative because it gives a measure of the “dynamic” of innovation:

3.Other special machines+10.9%
6.Medical technology+5.0%
7.Electric machinery, apparatus, energy+4.7%
8.Computer technology+3.3%
9.Digital Communication+0.7%
10.Organic fine chemistry-3.6%

Computer Technology (with +3.3%) and Digital Communication (with +0.7%) are respectively in positions 8th and 9th .

Does the very low increase (+0.7%) of the applications in the Digital Communication domain between 2017 and 2018 means that the investments supporting innovation are more focusing on the “verticals”?

This is a good driver for ICT SDO’s to keep investigating on “verticals” and expand its footprint to the whole digital transformation process.

What do you think? Did you witness such a decrease of applications on Digital Communication technologies to the profit of “verticals” in your organisation?

Innovator by nature...

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