As adopted by the ComSoc BoG on June 13, 2014


The majority of ComSoc members are practicing engineers in industry. However, participation in ComSoc sponsored events is primarily by academic members. In order to better serve its industry members as well as to increase the total number of participants in ComSoc sponsored events, ComSoc needs and wants more Industry Participants in its conferences. However, industry participants want content relevant to their daily needs and are generally not attracted so much by content offered in the typical research oriented conferences. In order to increase the attractiveness for industry members ComSoc needs its industry members to offer content relevant to their peers, which in turn will then increase industry participation.

Objectives and Mission

The Industry Communities Board (ICB) is responsible for developing and promoting a strategic vision and a management approach for conference programs attractive to attendees from industry, administrations or other non academic sectors.  This includes processes to assure the quality and value of content in industry oriented conference programs. It is the overall objective and mission of the ICB to increase industry participation in ComSoc events. This includes, but is not limited to the individual targets detailed below:

1.     Identification of relevant themes, technologies, implementation and business issues of high relevance of the communications industry at large. In contrast to the more long term academic content supplied by current ComSoc conferences, such issues will generally address near and mid-term issues relevant for product developers, system integrators, consultants and business planners.

2.     While ComSoc has a strong standing in the academic community, its visibility in the industrial area is much lower. It may therefore be advisable to partner with other societies or governmental organizations when addressing a new technical or business area. The ICB shall identify and if appropriate approach and negotiate with external organizations such cooperative programs and events to reach critical mass of industry participants quickly.

3.     Definition and setup of content delivery processes reflecting the different nature and needs of industry related content, such as publication formats, copyright schemes, review processes, etc, such that industrial engineers are encouraged rather than discouraged to participate in ComSoc events. In addition such processes shall be clearly documented to allow existing (academic) conferences to integrate an industrial section into their program (e.g. the Globecom IF&E section), while being consistent in terms of processes from time to time and without the need to reinvent the wheel for every event.

4.     A long standing question is the issue of exhibitions as stand-alone events or co-located with other major ComSoc events. For instance Globecom has tried to setup a strong exhibition for more than 10 years with varying but generally very limited success. It is one of the objectives of the ICB to explore the route to successful technology exhibitions, either as standalone or co-located with existing or new events. If and only if successful exhibitions can be organized by ComSoc, the relevant processes, contacts and contractual schemes need to be recorded and documented.

It is unlikely that these four parts of the ICB mission can successfully be tackled all at the same time. Therefore the ICEC will try to implement steps 1) and 2) initially, and then extend its activities to cover steps 3) and 4) of the abovce.

ICB Organization and Membership

The ICB is a standing Committee of ComSoc and reports directly to the ComSoc President. In order to accomplish its mission it needs to cooperate closely with the

·       ComSoc Vice President of Conferences and his 3 directors

·       ComSoc Vice President of Standards and his directors

·       ComSoc Technical Activities Council and the TCs

In addition the ICB will form Industry Communities (ICs) that will address a specific (industry relevant) technology or business domain, identifying relevant technical topics, high caliber speakers and potential partner organizations, bridging between the ICB, specific conference committees and the relevant experts in industry and ComSoc

Voting members of the ICB are the chair and 4 or 6 members at large (MALs). The chair is appointed by the ComSoc president and serves a 2 year term, aligned with the term of office of the ComSoc President. MALs are appointed for a 2 year term by the ICB chair with concurrence of the president. Half of the MALs (2 or 3) will have a term aligned with the chair, the other half of the MALs will be appointed by the ICB chair one year after and serve a staggered 2 year term. In the first full year of the ICB 4 to 6 MALs are appointed, 2 or 3 for a 2 year, and 2 or 3 for a three year term to be operational quickly while reaching the term staggering as soon as possible. Each of the voting members can serve a maximum of one  additional term. As an exception and with approval of the president a second additional term may be accepted. One of the MALs is appointed as ICEC vice chair by the ICEC chair to continue to conduct the ICB business, if the ICB chair becomes unavailable for whatever reason.

Besides the 5 or 7 voting members the ComSoc VPs of Conferences, Standards, and TAC, shall each designate one non-voting, ex-officio member to the ICEC (themselves or one of their Directors/TAC vice chair). Further the ComSoc Director of Marketing & Industry Relations is a non-voting, ex-officio member of the ICB.

Further non-voting members of the ICB are the chairs of the topical SIGs, as appointed by the ICB chair, as well as the IF&E chairs of active ICC/Globecom conferences.

Member at Large Role and Responsibilities

ComSoc’s scope is large, varied and constantly evolving. Very coarsely it can be described by the following, partly overlapping areas:

1.     Communications circuits, components and devices

2.     Physical Layer communications technologies, namely wireless, optical or other transmission technologies

3.     Telecommunication networks architecture, control, management, control, planning and evolution

4.     Communications software and (end-user) services

5.     Communications markets and business aspects, including societal impact and big societal challenges

For each of these large areas one MAL will be identified to lead the work pursuing the objectives lined out on objectives 1) and 2) above.

A 4th or 6th MAL will be designated as ICB vice chair, drive objective 3) initially, and once the content processes and formats have been stabilized will address the issue of exhibitions in close collaboration with the area leaders 1) to 5).

For each ComSoc conference planning a significant industry oriented section on of the ICB members (chair, MALs, IC Chairs) will be designated as “ICC Advisor” to assure a smooth interworking between the conference committee and the ICB.

Industry Communities (ICs) and their Chairs

In order to provide for an efficient discussion of industry relevant content special interest groups covering substantial and diverse topical areas of current industry interest are formed. An IC is an informal group of engineers/researchers with a good view of hot topics relevant for industry members. SIGs are strongly recommended to involve, discuss with and hence to take advantage of ComSoc’s existing TC structure and their members. TCs by definition have a good view of their respective fields and although they are often driven by academic members, they can contribute a lot to ICB’s objectives and targets.

An IC is started either by request of the ICB chair or by proposal of any ComSoc member, approved by the ICB. The ICB will solicit proposals to form Industry ICs from ComSoc members. An IC proposal must contain the scope of the IC, the name of a chair of the IC, and the names of at least 3 supporting members.

Every IC is expected to provide a progress report once a year to the ICB, typically at the Globecom ICB meeting. ICs not showing any activity or not providing any progress report will be considered inactive and can be dissolved by the ICB chair after discussion and vote within the ICB.

Every IC in coordination with the respective area leading MAL proposes a chair person to the ICB chair, who will then endorse the IC chair unless the ICB proposes another person to chair this particular IC. Appointed IC chairs become non-voting ICB members.

The chair of any IC invites other subject matter experts into his/her IC. It is recommended that the majority of IC members should have an industry background.

The output of a IC will be proposals for industry-relevant content such as:

·       Industry Forums/sessions/workshops with presentation on industry relevant

·       Keynote presentations on hot topics of industry executives

·       Panel discussions themes and interesting panelists

·       Educational content, e.g. tutorials or certification program sessions

·       Exhibits for conferences (probably at a slightly later stage).

Such proposals should be recorded in an ICB database, that shall be made accessible for organizers of industry sections of any ComSoc portfolio conference.

ICs will cover a large technical area or relevant section of our industry. However, the focus of the IC activities within a larger theme will evolve from year to year, following, or rather anticipating the current topics of interest in these larger areas.

ICB Business Conduct

The ICB will generally meet physically twice a year at ICC and Globecom conferences. In addition telephone/web conferences shall be held as needed. Meeting invitations shall be send latest 2 weeks before the meeting, including a proposed draft agenda. Voting can be done by email. In the case an email vote becomes necessary, the voting shall be announced at least 2 weeks before the voting procedure begins. The email voting shall remain open for at least weeks. The voting question shall be discussed by teleconference or email before the actual voting procedure commences.

Physical meetings will consist of 2 parts, a strategic planning session for new initiatives (at least at the ICC meeting) and a yearly review of the IC activities (typically at the Globecom meeting). These meetings will be conducted according to “Robert’s Rules of Order”, with 4 out of the 7 (or 3 out of 5) voting members constituting a quorum. Minutes and attendance lists of the ICB meetings will be kept by ComSoc staff. Area leaders and IC chairs are strongly recommended to drive their business forward by means of telecommunication and to keep the ICB informed about progress reached and new issues identified.

The ICB chair will provide a progress report to the president at least one a year (ICC meeting) or whenever significant progress has been made, respectively whenever significant issues have arisen.