German IT Leader Calls for Consortium Based on Airbus Model

By Mike Vizard

Addressing an audience full of European dignitaries that in included the president of France and the chancellor of Germany, the head of Germany's national IT association called for the creation of a European consortium that would be the equivalent of an Airbus consortium for the technology sector.

Dr. August-Wilheim Scheer, president of the German Association for Information Technology and Telecommunications and New Media (BITKOM) said an IT equivalent of the Airbus airline manufacturing consortium would allow European nations to set clear common goals to be more competitive, create holistic research and development and economic policies, drive investment in education and serve as a catalyst for innovation for start-up companies.

Scheer said for too long Germany and other companies have focused on pure research without developing the proper infrastructure to create a truly dynamic IT industry beyond a handful of successful companies such as SAP. Any yet by working together on technologies such as the GSM wireless telecommunications standard, Europe has proven that it can be launch pad for successful companies such as Nokia and Ericsson.

Specifically, Scheer said that Germany needs commit itself to becoming the number one supplier of IT technology in Europe and asked for the help of other European nations to make that possible as part of a larger plan to make Europe dominant in IT on a global scale. He also said that IT policies need to be synchronized across Europe and that it's critical for European governments to increase what today is abysmal rate of engineering graduates.

Finally, Scheer said the European governments need to create policies that promote the efforts of innovative start-up companies and reserve some portion of the 10 billion Euros that each country in Europe spends on IT should be reserved for European start-up companies driving IT innovation