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Merkel, Cameron Open CeBIT Tech Fest, Announce British-German Collaboration

posted 11 Mar 2014, 06:02 by Mpelembe   [ updated 11 Mar 2014, 06:03 ]

British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel open the world's largest high tech fair and announce a joint collaboration that is meant to keep both countries competitive in the area of Internet technologies.

 HANOVERGERMANY (MARCH 09, 2014) (DEUTSCHE MESSE AG POOL) - British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the world's largest high-tech trade fair CeBIT on Sunday (March 09) and announced a British-German collaboration that is designed to help both countries to stay competitive in a fast-changing world.

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"This is a world on fast forward, a world of permanent technological revolution. And in this world, countries like the United Kingdom and Germany will only succeed if we have a relentless drive for new ideas and innovations," Cameron said, adding that a deal had been reached to join forces in pushing for 5G technology. "With 4G, an 800-megabyte movie will take around 40 seconds to download. With 5G, that could be cut to one second. This is a prize that researchers all over the world are going for and I am delighted to announce a new collaboration between the University of DresdenKing's College University in London and the University of Surrey. Three world leading universities working on 5G hand in hand, that is something to be truly excited about."

Cameron also announced that his government was willing to make 73 million pounds ($ 122 million) available for further research and promotion of the connected technology. "I see the Internet of Things as a huge transformative development, a way of boosting our productivity, of keeping us healthier, of making transport more efficient, reducing energy needs, tackling climate change. We are on the brink of a new industrial revolution and I want us, the UK and Germany to lead it," said Cameron.

Merkel who spoke after Cameron said it was nothing short of a miracle that Germany and Britain were able to collaborate successfully and peacefully: "When we are getting together like this today we also know that we have been through hard times if I am just thinking of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I and the 75th anniversary of the beginning of World War II," Merkel said. "That is why it is a miracle that both our nations can today talk about how to work together even better on a basis of democracy and freedom and how we can jointly support countries like theUkraine who still have to fight for their freedom today." Merkel stressed that in an ever faster moving digital worlds European legal frameworks had to be established soon: "We are just at the beginning of what has to be done because this cannot be done alone on a national level. This is why it is so important that we address a reform of data protection legislation in Europe but surely we also have to do so on an international level. Without wanting to strain the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade andInvestment Partnership) to much these questions should intensely be discussed with our American partners."

This year's CeBIT partner country is Great Britain. According to the trade fair organisers, more than 120 UK-based companies have signed up as exhibitors. The lead theme of this year's CeBIT is "Datability", or as CeBIT translates the term on its website, "the ability to use large volumes of data sustainability and responsibly".

Following the Edward Snowden snooping revelations, there is growing interest in a range of mobile devices with one central selling point: privacy. Snowden set off a global furore when he told newspapers last year the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) was mining the personal data of users of firms such as Google , Facebook and Skype in a secret programme codenamed Prism.

Further leaks from the former NSA contractor, who faces espionage charges at home and has temporary asylum in Russia, suggested the United States had monitored phone conversations of some 35 world leaders, including Germany's Angela Merkel.

Currently, the market for so-called mobile security management (MSM) products was estimated at $560 million in 2013 and is expected to nearly double in size to $1 billion a year by 2015, according to ABI Research.

The CeBIT officially opens its doors to a professional audience on Monday which will be kicked off by Merkel and Cameron touring the fair which has grown by an estimated five percent since 2013. Around 3400 exhibitors from 70 countries are taking part in this year's fair according to the organisers. More than 230.000 visitors are expected at the CeBIT which runs until Friday, March 14.