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18 May 2022

IT congress Digital Summit Euregio

Münster/Münsterland. - North Rhine-Westphalia and the Netherlands are among the most closely interconnected economic regions in the world. Both regions should also benefit even more from their collaboration digitally.

The Digital Summit Euregio (DSE) in Münster today (May 18) was about data-driven business models, the necessary trust, cybersecurity and why different mentalities offer added value.

Around 200 participants followed the 25 lectures, reports and discussions online at the IHK North Westphalia education center and in live streams. Among other things, it became clear how the Covid pandemic revealed digital strengths and weaknesses: "The smarter a society is, the more resilient it is to crises," explained Daniel Mes, who is a member of Frans Timmermans' cabinet in the European Commission. For him, this means: “Without digital technology, for example, the ambitious climate goals cannot be achieved.”

The EU can count on the support of industry: “We have to combine industry and digitalization, otherwise sustainability won’t work,” said Dr. Fritz Jaeckel. Managing Director of the North Westphalia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said and added to the Mes and European Commission: “Go ahead and create trust. Then we will follow you.”

Trust was a core theme of the DSE. The EU not only wants to expand the digital infrastructure, but also promote the exchange of data via cloud solutions. Cybersecurity or the concern that a competitor may obtain important data are very sensitive questions, Mes admitted. The EU is therefore relying on clear rules, such as those set out in the European Data Act.

In addition, a digital ecosystem like Gaia-X can create a secure and trustworthy data infrastructure from which medium-sized businesses also benefit. Rainer Sträter from the internet service provider IONOS, who presented the European project launched in 2019, was convinced of this. He described Gaia-X as a “trust space” in which data is exchanged but everyone remains sovereign over their data. Technically, this has long been possible. And you can also make money with it: “Data-driven business models are becoming increasingly important commercially,” he emphasized.

Even the more reserved Germans should be convinced of this, was the tenor of a discussion group. “The Dutch are quicker to accept new trends and technologies,” said IHK Vice President Carsten Sühling. As managing director of the company Spaleck in Bocholt, which is located close to the border, he reported on his own experience. Dr. emphasized how inspiring it can be when people with different mentalities work together. Eduard Hüffer. It is important to use the strengths of each neighbor, explained the Honorary Consul of the Netherlands: “The innovative strength and creativity of the Dutch coupled with German thoroughness in planning and strategy” would result in benefits for both sides.

Hans Brouwers, high-tech representative for Germany from Oost NL, and Jeroen van de Lagemaat, managing director of ndix, two of the organizers, emphasized that formats such as the Digital Summit Euregio strengthen cross-border exchange and thus help to master the challenges together.

From Carsten Sühling's point of view, the summit also helps to make the region more interesting for young talent. This is also necessary: “There is a lack of IT specialists for the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0.” The shortage of skilled workers, but also digital business models in areas such as mobility or digital city centers, were also discussed at the DSE. In addition to the IHK, the IT Forum North Westphalia, the “In|du|strie” initiative, the Digital Hub münsterLAND, Oost NL and the German-Dutch company NDIX were responsible for the program. For Carsten Brockmann, chairman of the North Westphalia IT Forum, it was important “that we could finally get together live again and build on the successes before the Corona crisis”.

Source: Vertrauen in digitale Sicherheit schaffen - IHK Nord Westfalen