The future of the Internet


HP Labs’ Nick Wainwright has been appointed Chair of the UK Future Internet Strategy Group, which will consider next-generation technologies, applications and services.


Photo of Nick Wainwright

In just a few decades – and especially in the past 10-15 years – the Internet has become pervasive, directly touching more than a billion lives, and indirectly impacting almost everyone on the planet.

We use it to work, bank, shop and stay in touch with friends. We Google, Flickr, Facebook, MapQuest and Digg. We blog, podcast, email and tweet. We post our films on YouTube, set up shop on eBay and Amazon, and much more.

The Internet has gone beyond a few brilliant technologists communicating with each other on large university mainframes, to being an essential function of PCs, laptops, smart phones and other electronic devices. If it hasn't changed everything, it has certainly changed a lot.

And as far as the Internet has come, it's on the verge of transforming our lives in an even bigger way, say many experts, including Bristol-based Nick Wainwright, Director of Open Innovation for HP's European Research Labs.

“It will further change the way we interact and do business, be integral to building ‘smart’ cities and communities, and impact sectors as diverse as energy, transportation, education and healthcare,” said Wainwright.

Recently, the Technology Strategy Board in the United Kingdom, a government-sponsored but independent entity that drives innovation, appointed Wainwright as Chair of the UK Future Internet Strategy Group, which is charged with helping the UK play a key role in shaping the Internet's future.

The group includes leading technologists and influential thinkers from academia and UK-based businesses, with observers from the public sector. Its goals include to:

  • Be a forum for ideas and points of view for UK experts on the future Internet
  • Foster collaboration among them
  • Offer advice to the UK government while respecting the different viewpoints of its members
  • Contribute to the European Community’s initiatives related to the future Internet, and encourage UK participation in them

Wainwright remarked, “Our immediate charter is to bring together world-class UK expertise and coordinate programs in this country with some key initiatives across Europe. In addition, we will work together with key people in a variety of sectors to address important societal challenges.”

On February 26, the UK Future Internet Strategy Group will hold a launch event that will bring together a host of speakers and enable participants to network and take part in discussions.

Wainwright has been with HP Labs for 22 years and held a variety of research positions. His role as Chair of the UK Future Internet Strategy Group, while separate from his role at HP, exemplifies HP’s thought leadership in critical technology areas.