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Angela Merkel talks future of tech in Germany ahead of Berlin startup tour

Angela Merkel CeBIT

Angela Merkel CeBIT

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is putting the tech economy in the limelight this week, after presiding over the opening of CeBIT 2013 ahead of a startup tour through Berlin tomorrow (7 March).

CeBIT, the world's largest technology fair in Hannover, is well underway, with around 4100 companies from 70 countries showcasing their latest tech wares under this year's theme "shareconomy".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the week-long event with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, whose country's rising tech nation will feature strongly at the event.

Merkel also presented Microsoft's "Innovate 4 Society" awards to German startups, with online language learning tool Babbel receiving the "Established Enterprise" accolade for its Windows 8 app. Free online organising service Doo received the "Startup" award for providing innovative solutions based on Microsoft products.

The Chancellor also addressed wider EU issues, stating that IT startups could turn Europe's flailing economy into a growth engine if EU states provide a simpler, standardised regulatory framework for entrepreneurs: "We have to ensure that we develop a startup culture," she said.

"The IT industry is without doubt one of the possibilities and one of my dreams... is to create the same founding conditions for all small IT companies everywhere in Europe... so people don't have to go university five times to comply with all the different regulations."

Merkel will then continue on the startup theme, paying a visit to Berlin-based "Facebook for scientists" platform ResearchGate, and social gaming company Wooga, before addressing an invite-only crowd of tech luminaries at an evening event, including big-hitters on the German scene such as Lars Hinrichs,  Christoph Maire, Klaus Hommels, Marco Boerries, and of course VentureVillage.

Stay tuned for a full report on the visit...

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