Cameron pledges to work with Germany on Internet of Things

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to work with Germany on research and development on the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G technology and the EU as a single digital market. Cameron made the pledge as he joined German Chancellor Angela Merkel in opening the CeBIT 2014 trade fair in Hanover, Germany.

Cameron has drawn up a package of measures to work with Germany, including £45m of funding into the Internet of Things as well as a £1m ‘European Internet of Things’ grant fund to support firms aiming to take advantage of opportunities in the area. The UK government said that this is in addition to funding previously set aside for the technology and takes the total pot to £73m.

Cameron’s package also includes a new spectrum strategy that the government said aims to double the economic benefits of spectrum to £100bn by 2025.

He has also pledged the to create an ‘innovation one stop shop’ within UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) for securing science and innovation investment from international funds and corporations, as well as a review by the government’s Chief Scientific Advisor to identify how the countries can exploit potential in this area.

In addition, Cameron announced a new collaboration scheme to develop 5G between the University of Dresden, King’s College University in London and the University of Surrey. In October 2012, the University of Surrey received £35m research funding for its 5G Innovation Centre, from the UK government and firms including Samsung, Huawei, Telefonica Europe and Aircom International.

“This is a world on fast forward. A world of permanent technological revolution. And in this world, countries like the UK and Germany will only succeed if we have a relentless drive for new ideas and innovations,” said Cameron.

The 5G Summit will be collocated with the 10th annual LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, taking place on the 23rd-26th June 2014, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Click here to download a brochure for the event. 

The UK’s role at CeBIT 2014 is as the event’s “official partner country”.  The Prime Minister aims to promote Britain’s tech and innovation sector to more than 2,500 industry representatives at the show, and set out how the UK and Germany should partner to lead the next digital revolution.

“The UK tech scene today is dynamic. Relentlessly ambitious. Leading the way,” he added. “It is our ambition to make the UK the most digital nation in the G8 and it is my mission to show the world that we’re getting there.”

Relations between the UK and Germany have taken a strain after US whistleblower Edward Snowden last year revealed how US and UK spy agencies had been spying on ordinary citizens’ browsing and messaging habits. In January this year, Chancellor Merkel reportedly said in a speech to the German parliament that the spy agencies’ actions “violate trust and sow distrust”. According to German news site The Local, Merkel said in her speech:

“Is it right that our closest partners such as the United States and Britain gain access to all imaginable data, saying this is for their own security and the security of their partners? Is it right to act this way because others in the world do the same? Is it right if in the end this is not about averting terrorist threats but, for example, gaining an advantage over allies in negotiations, at G20 summits or UN sessions?

“Our answer can only be: No, this can’t be right. Because it touches the very core of what cooperation between friendly and allied countries is about: trust.”

Merkel herself was allegedly spied on by the NSA and has demanded that the US government give Germany clarity over the future of the NSA in the country.

Last month, Merkel also called for the creation of a secure European communications network that would avoid US-based networks and servers. She added at the time that she plans to speak with French president Francois Hollande to discuss concrete proposals to guarantee stronger data protection guidelines in Europe.

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