The National Industrial Information Infrastructure Protocols (NIIIP) Consortium is developing technology to enable industrial virtual enterprises (VEs). An industrial VE is a temporary consortium of independent member companies which come together to quickly exploit fast-changing worldwide product manufacturing opportunities. Virtual Enterprises assemble themselves based on cost effectiveness and product uniqueness without regard for organization size, geographic location, computing environments, technologies deployed, or processes implemented. Virtual Enterprise companies share costs, skills, and core competencies which collectively enable them to access global markets with world class solutions that could not be provided individually.
The $60M project is one of the largest National Information Infrastructure
programs (see About NIIIP
and NIIIP members).
The Director of the NIIIP Consortium is Richard Bolton
(IBM). The DARPA Defense Science Office (DSO)
program manager overseeing NIIIP is Kevin Lyons.
In order to enable VEs, NIIIP is developing a reference architecture
and a reference implementation that ties together several emerging
infrastructure technologies: Internet, web, Object Management
Group object technology, workflow, KBMS, rules, agents, and STEP
product data. Rather than standardize protocols itself, NIIIP
works through memberships in standards organizations, principally
OMG (Internet SIG, Manufacturing TF), Workflow Management Consortium,
and STEP. Much of the NIIIP work involves "harmonizing"
existing protocols, and then doing pilot projects to prove out
The NIIIP work is directly aligned with our DARPA contracts and our Virtual Office direction. We have been involved in much of the NIIIP development, from conception to the present stage, focusing mainly on contributions to the NIIIP architecture and technology transfer. Some of our 1994-1996 contributions are:
Last updated: 27 October 1996 - Back to OBJS homepage