Annual Conference

Digital Hub Annual Conference 2014 Attended by many VIPs – Gaining a competitive edge through digital infrastructure: “One step ahead.”

Zeta-Award for extraordinary accomplishments awarded to Link11 GmbH The Rhine Main region is experiencing a boom. A major contributor to that is the digital infrastructure in and around Frankfurt. It supplies industry, banks, and providers with ultra fast data connection and computing capacity. What is necessary to secure this advantage was a question posed by the Digital Hub Frankfurt RheinMain e.V. at its annual conference on July 22nd, 2014 held at the Frankfurter Innovationszentrum Biotechnologie. Among the speakers were author and Internet activist, Sascha Lobo, Dr. Jens Zimmermann (MdB) from the Bundestag Committee Digital Agenda, the Frankfurter City Councilman and Department Head for Reform Projects, Jan Schneider, the Frankfurter City Councilman and Department Head for Economics, Sports, Security, and Fire Department, Markus Frank, as well as Markus Laqua, Partner at the consultancy firm Bearing Point, and Georg Matzner, Division Head for Technology Policy at the Hessian Ministry of Economics. The speakers representing the Digital Hub Frankfurt-RheinMain e.V. were the host, Dr. Christian Garbe, CEO of the Innovationszentrum, and the association’s Chairman, Bernhard Pussel.

Within the framework of presentations and a panel discussion, the question was explored, which conditions must be met in order to ensure future success through high-performance digital infrastructure in Germany and especially in the Rhine Main region. Not only did that uncover technological perspectives, but also societal ones, and detailed questions were asked pertaining to the agenda and implementation in the region. A great insight was that the expansion of the digital infrastructure remains a permanent task and will need the appropriate investments. Reasons for the expansion are the new networked economy, user driven social media and other over the top services such as video streaming services that constantly increase the demand for bandwidth. “Whoever stops moving forward is bound to fall behind in the international competition.” Bernhard Pussel expressed a warning for policy makers in Berlin: „We no longer can think of energy and data networks as separate. We take an even more critical view in regards to the permanent increases in energy prices caused by the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) which already have an impact on the ability of digital infrastructure providers to compete internationally. As far as Frankfurt-RheinMain is concerned, it became clear that the situation in the region is very favorable in comparison to Germany as a whole, but the actual competition takes place in Europe. Especially Amsterdam and London have greatly developed their positions. That is why the city of Frankfurt, the regional association, but also the local enterprises should push more actively to position the central data capital in the international ranking. As an example, the next German IT summit could be held in Frankfurt, and the dialog with Bundestag representatives from the region could be stepped up. In the evening, the Digital Hub FrankfurtRheinMain e.V. awarded the Zeta-Award for outstanding services to digital infrastructure in the region. This year’s nominations went to the Virtual Network Operator Mitcaps GmbH from Mainz and Link11 GmbH which specializes in data center security, as well as Horn & Cosifan Computersystems GmbH, both Frankfurt am Main enterprises. The winner was Link11 GmbH, and according to award presenter, Dr. Jens Zimmermann, Link11 and their solutions for data centers highly contribute to the security of the digital ecosystem as a whole. The event was well attended with 150 guests from the regional economy and politics as well as the media and was a good cause for network development in the region. The patron was the Hessian Minister of Economics,  Tarek  Al-Wazir.

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