BITKOM and Silicon Saxony engage in cooperation
Since the reunion Saxony has become highly respected as a technology center. This was proven by a representative survey by order of the Federal Association BITKOM. About every second German citizen (44 per cent) regards the Free State of Saxony as a major high-tech location in Germany. 42 per cent of West Germans consider Saxony a vital high-tech location which represents just the national average. 57 per cent of East German residents regard it as significant. Its regional and human innovative power is even assessed higher nationwide. 48 per cent of the Germans appreciate the Saxons as "ingenious and innovative". 48 per cent of the Germans too regard the state's commercial policy as having succeeded since the reunion. Critical voices on these points amount to less than 30 per cent.
As Dr. Helmut Gassel, the new BITKOM spokesman, states: "Saxony has achieved much and has become one of the major European technology centers." Helmut Gassel is president of the division Chip Card & Security at Infineon. The IT and telecommunications sector in Saxony amounts to about 1,500 enterprises with approximately 48,000 employees.
At a joint conference in Dresden, BITKOM and the Saxon IT association Silicon Saxony signed a cooperation agreement today. By this they are hoping to more strongly link Silicon Saxony's regional activities with the nationwide activities of BITKOM, find their voice with regard to Saxon matters in Berlin and to promote the Saxon high-tech sector to investors. This cooperation is most welcomed by Saxony's government. Prime Minister Stanislaw Tillich engaged in discussions with about 100 executives of member companies of these trade associations this morning. As Tillich explained: "Saxony has enhanced its top rank as a leading microelectronics cluster in Europe as well as its competitiveness on an international level this year too. This agreement between both these trade associations Silicon Saxony and BITKOM means a very essential strategic step for the viability of our region. This close cooperation will advance the perception and impact of our microelectronics cluster across the Saxon borders."
According to Heinz Martin Esser, head of Silicon Saxony and CEO of Roth & Rau - Ortner GmbH: "Microchips and software are mutually dependent, their joint application having an increasing impact on competition." This development is going to rapidly continue with "Embedded Systems" and with the "Internet of Matters and Services". Silicon Saxony and BITKOM stand for both microelectronics and software and are fundamental for a fruitful cooperation in the high technology sector.
As BITKOM spokesman Gassel explains: "Saxony provides an enormous potential given its outstanding networking of small and large companies, suppliers, service providers and universities. Nevertheless, the Dresden IT cluster is still relatively small compared to Asian and US American settlements. We are hoping to motivate more high-tech enterprises to settle in Saxony and contribute to an advancement of the technology excellence of our universities. In the global competition we therefore require an implementation of support actions by politics."
The Saxons themselves are expecting a prosperous future when it comes to the economic development of their Federal State. 72 per cent anticipate the Saxon economy to thrive above average within the years to come. Regional identification with Saxony as a business location is great: 83 per cent consider the Free State to be a vital high-tech location in Germany, 81 per cent appreciate the Saxon commercial policy after the reunion. 91 of the locals regard themselves "ingenious and innovative". As Helmut Gassel, BITKOM spokesman remarks: "Saxons see their region in a positive light, which cooresponds to all their entrepreneurial efforts. These mean sound conditions for Saxony's ongoing success as a technological center."
At present BITKOM and Silicon Saxony are advocating to facilitate the influx of foreign IT specialists. According to Gassel: "A global economy requires highly qualified foreign specialists for the enterprises to remain competitive internationally." As the BITKOM survey shows this claim is supported by 53 per cent of the Saxons and by 50 per cent nationwide.
As regards the approach: data for BITKOM were collected by the polling institute forsa. About 1,150 German citizens from the age of 14 up were asked in a representative survey, 200 of those were Saxons.
Pictures: Silicon Saxony