August-Wilhelm Scheer, president of the German Association for IT, Telecommunications and New Media (Bitkom), has said that countries must become better at using innovative ICT ideas and technoliges to create more jobs and further economic growth.
Speaking at CeBIT 2008, Schneer said that countries can benefit from IT, but only if they are prepared to foster and develop a culture which supports R&D and education.
"We must assert our leadership by excelling in R&D, education and the public sector. We must take stock and see how we measure up. Only by knowing where we stand can we gauge improvement. Then we will be in a position to chart out and discuss our progress at annual IT summits."
He said that ICT is mission critical for the success of diverse industries such as car-making, mechanical engineering and medical technology. "It is essential for high-tech research and economic policies to be closely synchronized. It is not enough to only produce good research the fruits of that research must also seed new products and new jobs."
He pointed to technology parks that have been set up all over Germany, some regionally and some locally as an example of ways countries could move forward, but warned that these would have to be on a par with the ones in Silicon Valley or Bangalore for them to be truly effective.
"Our motto should be 'If you are going do it, do it right.' What we need are clusters of excellence that can hold their own against the international competition."