The largest international computer expo in the world, bigger even than China’s COMPUTEX, CeBIT today officially kicked off a new edition featuring an awe-inspiring introduction signed Angela Merkel and Jack Ma.
The event’s organizers were proud to report today that the 2,800 tickets available for the opening ceremony were sold out in record time – hardly a surprise, considering who took the stage to make this year’s introduction.
Germany’s Chancellor marked the opening of CeBIT 2015 by outlining the importance of the d!conomy with an eye on German-Chinese innovation. There are 600 Chinese companies alone at this year’s show. Germany is now in a position to act as an “innovation consultant,” Merkel said. The politician also stressed that while competition is healthy, the rules of the game must be abided by everyone (i.e. patent protection).
Merkel’s 10-step program for a more connected Germany
Perhaps more importantly, Mrs. Merkel revealed that the Grand Coalition has come up with a 10 step program to drive innovation in the country, putting a strong emphasis on the expansion of broadband technology by equipping rural areas with cellular networks.
Merkel said she wanted every citizen in Germany to have access to a 50 Mbit/s connection. She then proceeded to dish out the actual steps planned for boosting communications, supporting startups, promoting research and administrative services, and more.
Some of Merkel’s tech-focused endeavors include (from the official CeBIT site):
- In summer, the German Federal Network Agency will auction off the 700 megahertz spectrum, reinvesting the proceeds as investment stimuli to expand rural networks.
- Expand public Wi-Fi, and create a legally secure framework for liability laws by passing an appropriate Telemedia Act.
- Foundations are required for the Cloud and Big Data, topics currently dominating the IT industry, to deliver certainty for data processing and clear anonymization rules.
- Create of a common European domestic network.
- Integrate telecommunications in the change process, creating clear rules for roaming and a restricted level of net neutrality, as some services must be prioritized and secure.
- Build trust in digital solutions in key areas such as energy, transportation and healthcare.
- Promote research, innovation and core competencies like IT security as a Made-in-Germany brand.
- Advance networked mobility to transform the automotive industry as a growth driver for Germany.
Mrs Merkel has set the bar high for Germany, but she’s not stopping here. According to the Chancellor, once these achievements are made they will be superseded by even more ambitious goals.
Ma wants more women at the helm
The CeBIT opening was also blessed with an appearance from none other than Jack Ma, the famous Chinese entrepreneur and philantropist who founded the highly-successful Internet-based business, Alibaba Group. Ma sees women leaders as crucial components of a future where brains will inevitably overcome brawn, he said during his respective opening speech.
The Alibaba CEO believes that dreams change the world profoundly, and without them technology would not be where it is today. After establishing a prosperous global business, Ma’s short-term goals are to help bring companies to China. Towards the end of his speech, the Alibaba boss touted his platform’s facial recognition authentication technology.
Alibaba recently launched its first U.S.-based cloud computing hub pitting itself against the likes of Amazon, eBay and Google.
4PSA clouders will be on the floor at CeBIT 2015. All juicy comms-related updates will be posted here. In the meantime, visit the official CeBIT site for the highlights from the Hanover fairground.