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John Riley

Dr John Riley is passionate about improving the innovation process, having first hand experience of large enterprises, small business, academia, and government. As Managing Editor of Computer Weekly (1992-2008) he championed true business value from IT and founded the CW500 Club for IT Directors. He was until recently Strategic Advisor to Erudine, an early adopter of agile technology, campaigning for the wider UK SME community. He was a founder of the UK Innovation Initiative and is active across the IT community.



Engineer at the Top

China's Politburo keeps engineering savvy

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In today's China regime change announcements an engineer replaces an engineer at the pinnacle of China's leadership. That bodes well for the progression of China's 2011-2015 Five Year Plan for the Internet of Things.

The new Communist Party leader is former chemical engineer Xi Jinping, taking over from forrner hydraulic engineer Hu Jintao.

In the once in 10 years reshuffle the balance of trained engineers has shifted from 8 out of the 9-man Politburo Standing Committee to two in a slimmed down 7-man one. We can expect no change in the commitment to the Internet of Things. 

New Chinese Politburo Standing Committee Line-Up

In order of seniority: (with input from the BBC, Brookings and the Chinese News Agency)

Xi Jinping
b. 1953. New Communist Party chief, and likely to take over next year as President.
Graduated in chemical engineering (specialising in organic synthesis) and later doctorate in law

Li Kequiang
b.1955. Bachelor’s degree in law and doctorate in economics

Zhang Dejiang
b.1946. Two years undergraduate in economics at Kim Il Sung University in North Korea

Yu Zhengsheng
b. 1945. Graduated in ballistic missile automatic control. Worked for seven years as techician in radio factories ending up as Director of Planning in the Ministry of Electronics

Liu Yunshan
b. 1947. Trained at Jining Teachers College in Mongolia.

Wang Qishan
b.1948. Graduated in history and became director at the Institute of Contemporary History of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Moved to finance ending up as Governor of the China Construction Bank.

Zhang Gaoli
b. 1946. Graduated in statistics and economics then worked in the petroleum industry.

China and the Internet of Things

In February this year China published an updated development programme for the Internet of Things (see translation by EU IoT Council) stressing the commitment of the Central Party Committee and the State Council  to the development of Internet of Things, It also highlighted a need to speed up the technology R&D and application demonstrators.

For a quick snapshot of Chinese Internet of Things activity see the brief report (pp255-257) by Xueli (Shirley) Zhang of the China Academy of Telecommunication Research (CATR) of the Ministry of Information Industry (MII) to the EU Internet of Things conference in Venice this June. “The Internet of Things has become the important driving engine of economic development in China,” she said, pointing to developments in various sectors, including the following:

Smart Grid: 58 million intelligent electric meters have been installed. Intelligent power distribution networks are being built in 23 cities in China.

Intelligent Transportation Systems: IoT is being used in the railway system, and beginning to be used in city intelligent transportation.

Food Safety: £400m (4 bn Yuan) has been invested in a food tracing system covering 36 cities.

Machine to Machine: there are 16m M2M terminals in China

Smart City: by end of May last year 18 first tier cities had formulated their detailed smart city plans

R&D in Internet of Things: In 2011 the IoT Development Special Fund provided £50m (500 million Yuan), the bulk (67%) which went to support technology R&D and industrialisation.


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