Thought Leadership

It Is Better to Give than It Is to Receive

By Dennis Brophy

One element of my IEEE Standards Association (SA) volunteer activities is to represent the SA to the IEEE New Initiatives Committee (NIC).  In December, the group gets together face-to-face to review projects underway and to approve new projects for the next year.  The new initiative program is designed to identify potential new products, programs, and services that will provide significant benefit to IEEE members, customers, the technical community, the public, which promises to have a lasting impact on the IEEE.

Initiatives are of strategic importance and must demonstrate a clear benefit to IEEE. The process allows submission of a proposal at any time during the year, not just in December.

The IEEE SA worked with the NIC several years back to help it study and launch a Patent Pools project to expand possible IEEE standards business to facilitate faster adoption of standards where patent use is needed to implement a standard and a patent pool could help.

While the NIC has supported programs that facilitate standards use, new initiatives run the gamut of global IEEE interests.  One project with several years of support that has had an impact on humanity is the IEEE Humanitarian Technology Network (HTN). A map of global projects is maintained that shows all going on around the world.

Any IEEE member, volunteer or IEEE organizational unit can submit a proposal.  Do you have a new initiative idea for the IEEE?  If so, you might want to submit your idea to the NIC for consideration.

Overview of the IEEE New Initiative Program

IEEE new initiative proposals are submitted using one of two submission processes.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at