Chancellor Merkel set to meet with ministers and top managers on December 18th 
Potsdam/Berlin. The German federal government will hold its first national IT Summit on Monday, December 18, 2006 at the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) in Potsdam. Under the leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), eight working groups of high-ranking participants will develop suggestions and approaches aimed at improving the quality and international competitiveness of Germany´s information technology (IT) sector. Merkel will also discuss current topics with HPI students and scientists. The IT Systems Engineering Program at the Hasso Plattner Institute, which is the only university-affiliated educational institute in Germany financed entirely by private means, transforms talented young computer science students into IT engineers. The National IT Summit will function as a discussion forum for business, science and politics, and it marks the first time that the current government will hold a summit outside the Chancellor´s office.
The forum, which comes at the end of the "Informatics Year 2006", will be attended not only by the Chancellor but also by several federal ministers as well. These prominent participants will lead the summit´s working groups together with a number of top managers from the IT and communications industries. 
The HPI was founded in 1998 as part of a private public partnership with the State of Brandenburg. HPI´s Director, Professor Christoph Meinel (52), welcomed the Chancellor´s plan to hold the IT summit at the institute in Potsdam: "First and foremost, the decision underlines the extraordinary value placed information technology in the economic development and prosperity of our country. The choice of summit location also directs attention to an important prerequisite for success in the IT sector, i.e. the training of excellent, internationally competitive experts and high-level personnel who have clear profiles in engineering." 
The choice of the HPI as the location for the national IT summit in Potsdam is also an acknowledgment of the untiring efforts of its founder, Professor Hasso Plattner (62). The SAP co-founder and current supervisory board chairman continues to be Germany´s most important private promoter of the sciences. As Meinel notes: "Plattner´s unique commitment to our institute, our resulting close connections with IT industry leaders, and our cooperation with internationally prominent research institutes such as Stanford University allow us to offer outstanding study and research conditions to a new generation of talented young scientists in the field of IT Systems Engineering." The HPI´s director also points to the fact that with its own Research School the institute itself is already pursuing the goals set out by the federal government´s recent "Excellency Initiative", which was set in motion to promote outstanding achievements in research and the international competitiveness of Germany´s universities.

The National IT Summit will begin on the morning of December 18th. Matthias Platzeck, State Minister of Brandenburg, is only one of many prominent speakers who will greet the guests. Shortly thereafter, the eight working groups will meet to begin their discussions. In the afternoon, there will also be a public podium discussion with the Chancellor, the working group leaders and other invited guests.