Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have jointly opened this year's CeBIT trade show in Hanover with the promise of a cooperative agreement to boost technological progress in their respective nations, with a particular focus on 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.
Opening the event, Cameron told attendees that 'countries like the UK and Germany will only succeed with a relentless stride for innovation.
' Accordingly, he announced a partnership on the development of 5G mobile connectivity between the Universities of Surrey and Dresden and Kings College London and placed his support behind moves to eliminate roaming charges throughout the EU through the formation of a unified market.
More interesting, however, was Cameron's announcement of cash funding for Internet of Things projects. 'I see the Internet of Things as a huge transformative development,
' he claimed, 'a way of boosting productivity, of keeping us healthier, making transport more efficient, reducing energy needs, tackling climate change. Take British ingenuity in software, services and design, add German excellence in engineering and industrial manufacturing and together we can lead in this new revolution.
Cameron's speech comes with a monetary element: a pot of cash already set aside to provide grants to boost the development of IoT-related technologies is being increased by £45 million to £73 million. The move comes some two years after Intel opened up an IoT research and development network
in the UK, and will have Sir Mark Walport, chief scientific adviser to the government, reviewing how the money can best be spent.
Merkel announced her support for Cameron's speech, describing her delight in the UK acting as the partner country for the CeBIT event this year while also admitting that it was a 'miracle
' that the two nations could support each other so closely given this year marking the 100th anniversary of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the Second World War.