In 2015, IEEE expanded its reach and relevance in the technical community. A coordinated effort was made to develop better methods for IEEE to meet the demands of established industry leaders, as well as the burgeoning entrepreneur community, to ensure that IEEE continues to address emerging industry needs.
To expand IEEE’s relationship with technology industry leaders, delegations from the IEEE Board of Directors made visits to industry centers in four global regions in 2015: Munich, Germany; Shenzhen, China; Tokyo/Osaka, Japan; and Silicon Valley, USA. The delegations gathered feedback on the vitality of the local engineering and technical workforces to help IEEE better understand how it can support industry professionals. The IEEE delegations met with over 150 industry leaders from more than 50 companies.
Record numbers of young people are starting businesses and IEEE made a concerted effort to reach out to these entrepreneurs in 2015 to engage and inform them of the advantages of IEEE membership. To help coordinate this effort, the IEEE Board of Directors appointed an Ad Hoc Committee on Entrepreneurship.
Another important part of this engagement effort was the launch of the IEEE N3XT™ Summit, the first IEEE-wide global entrepreneurship event, which convened a diverse group of technical entrepreneurs on 14 November in Toronto, Canada. The IEEE N3XT brand is designed to deliver, locally, a global connection to IEEE content and contacts, to foster collaboration and innovation, and to provide encouragement and skills-building to young entrepreneurs.
Throughout 2015, the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) expanded its global presence, increased adoption of IEEE standards, and generated deeper engagement with IEEE-SA programs. Evidence of its success was IEEE-SA’s participation in the European Multi-Stakeholder Platform (MSP) on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) standardization.
IEEE-SA also signed key agreements. One, with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), enables the BIS to adopt IEEE standards as Indian National Standards. An agreement signed by IEEE-SA and the Pakistan Engineering Council ensures that the IEEE National Electrical Safety Code is used as the basis of the Pakistan Electric and Telecom Safety Code, while agreements with the Zambia Bureau of Standards and the Ghana Standards Authority allow adoption of IEEE standards as national standards in those countries.
In 2015, IEEE continued its focus on supporting and meeting member needs, membership recruitment, and member retention in India. IEEE implemented a plan for member and membership development based on planning activities conducted in 2014. The India Task Force team, created in February 2015, worked to improve engagement with industry, develop student internship and entrepreneurship programs, and retain student members. It also conducted a 2015 Metro Area Workshop in Bangalore and engaged student leaders at both the Region 10 Student/Young Professionals Congress and the All India Student Congress.