I was invited to speak at the annual meeting of SVEF the Association of the Icelandic Web Masters. I was very impressed to see the Mayor of Reykjavik speaking about how he loves the Internet. Anyways, this was like the Oscars of Internet Web Page designers and implementors. I was impressed by the turnout and quite humbled to even be given a stage to talk about something that I believe in. I have written about it here “Iceland can create the next Google“. The quality and the sophistication in the implementation of the websites that were nominated was world class. I wish this work gets publicized to the rest of the world and I spoke about that during the event as well. Orkusalan a energy management company won the most accolades. The city of Reykjavik also had a couple of awards for its website betrireykjavik.is. Here is the full list of the awards (disclaimer: I used Google Translate for the categories, here is the link to the original website article) :
Had lunch with Dr. Kristinn R. Thórisson, and learnt a lot about the Icelandic Institute for Intelligent Machines (IIIM), fascinating stuff. The institutes mission is to accelerate adoption of academic work into the industry as it relates to Artificial Intelligence (A), Machine Learning (ML) etc. The institute is currently funded by Rannis, Reykjavik University and CCP Games. The institute is trying to enable a closer link between innovation and industry. The way it works is that if you are a sponsor of the institute you could technically “outsource” your R&D; project to the institute, which in turn will assemble the required resources i.e team and run the project. This is quite interesting because it enables better management of R&D; budget for companies and also makes for the institute to work on tangible real world problems that need solution. I think the biggest challenge facing this institute is that there are no large innovation companies in Iceland that can support or partner with this effort. I can see many startups that can participate in this effort but then again the startups are running on fumes anyways so they may not be able to sponsor or support the institute. We have a catch 22 situation here but I am confident there are very smart people and they will figure out a way to make this work. As a concept I think it is great, adds a lot of value and can facilitate innovation and make innovation sustainable. I want to push the envelop in looking at this institue and see if the Lean Principles can be applied in the modus operandi of the institute. I think similar institues have been successful in MIT, Stanford, UC Berkley and the like. I think the most prominent one is the Media Lab at MIT. Given the Dr. Kristinn used to be part of the MIT Media Lab, it is a good thing. We need to bring those big companies or capital to foster the relationship between Universities and Commercial Enterprises. This makes the partnership sustainable.