Advancing Technology through New Initiatives

IEEE Future Directions fosters innovation and advancements through new and emerging technologies. Through the leadership of and guidance from the Future Directions Committee (FDC), it oversees nine initiatives going into 2024, along with efforts ranging from collaboration on technology roadmaps and global perspectives on semiconductors. The newest activity launched is a coalition across TA and IEEE on AI.

Focusing on the Initiative Process.

The methodology and process for determining which topic areas for FDC to work on for IEEE is an organic process. It is through a combination of analysis from FDC’s Industry Advisory Board (IAB), inputs from FDC members, Societies and Councils, IEEE Industry Engagement Committee, IEEE New Initiatives Committee, and consideration of current trends. More importantly, it requires a champion who has the knowledge, passion, and enthusiasm to start and lead a new initiative. The initiative must have a robust and large enough volunteer base for success. Cross-collaboration is equally important. Future Directions promotes collaboration among all Societies and Councils, and the organizational units across IEEE.

An initiative normally defines its goals and a strategy for success with the eventual outcome to become self-sustaining. Activities may include augmenting an existing IEEE conference(s), organizing a new conference or event, developing new educational opportunities, identifying new standards opportunities, and if there is a business need for a new application.

The lifecycle of an initiative ranges from four to six years, upon which it can evolve to various states outside of Future Directions. Examples may include it becoming a standalone, self-sustaining Technical Community or Committee, managed within a Society, its assets broken up across TA, or not continue.

Highlighting one initiative.

One of the current nine initiatives leverages the various technologies that enable and support the current and future needs in public safety. The IEEE Public Safety Initiative originated within the IEEE Future Network Initiative. It formally was approved by FDC to become an initiative in 2022.

Public Safety is a key imperative that affects all of us especially seen last year from the wildfires in Canada that generated significant smoke that impacted the air quality across the United States or that of natural disasters like the earthquakes in Turkey.

Public Safety per se is not considered a technology, but it is all the various technologies that can and do contribute to public safety needs. These range from, but are not limited to communications and networking, edge and cloud computing, IoT, blockchain, AI and machine learning, intelligent data, and augmented and virtual reality.

One key activity underway by the IEEE Public Safety Initiative is the first of its-kind conference on Public Safety Technology. The IEEE World Forum on Public Safety Technology (WF-PST) will be held 14-15 May 2024 outside of Washington, D.C.

Another activity is its support of the next IEEE Tech Talk in Orlando, Florida during the February Meeting Series.

Engagement and outreach opportunities.

As previously mentioned, a key success factor for any Technical Community or Committee depends on having a robust volunteer network. The IEEE Public Safety Initiative welcomes your interest and contributions. It is not the only opportunity. There are other activities within Future Directions as well as each Society or Council having their own Technical Community or Committee or special interest group.

To learn more about IEEE Public Safety Initiative or IEEE Future Directions, please check out each respective website.,

Please reach out with any questions and comments via Kathy Grise, [email protected].

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