ITU Blog: Kaleidoscope – Where social and technical sciences meet

I remember that day in early 2007 quite vividly – my first trip to ITU. The Cooperation between ITU-T and Universities: Consultation Meeting aimed to discuss the link between academic research and standardization. Having just completed the final report on the ‘Interest’ project, an EU project that investigated this same topic, some of our  team were quick to grasp the opportunity to tackle the issue within the United Nations framework.

In the Consultation Meeting, we discussed a number of ideas and suggestions that ITU’s Standardization Sector (ITU-T) had come up with to increase the participation of academics in its various working groups. The underlying idea was to identify trends in research that might be exploited for standards setting at a fairly early stage. To me, that looked like a very valid approach; all the more so as I felt, and still feel, that academics had not been overly popular in standards-setting circles for quite a while after the ‘debacle’ surrounding the standardization of the Open Systems Interconnection protocols.

One of the many ideas discussed back in 2007 was the development of a conference that would invite academic papers looking into the more distant future, as opposed to ‘how we did it’ papers. The papers would look at, or perhaps even create, new trends in information and communication technology (ICT) that would lend themselves to standardization.

Read the full text authored by Kai Jakobs, Head of Technical Staff at the Chair of Informatik 4 (Communication & Distributed Systems) of RWTH Aachen University’s Computer Science Department.

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