Parliamentary State Secretary Thomas Rachel MdB during the welcome address

Around 160 guests attended the second JARA-FORUM “Prospects for the Future” at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Berlin on 16 October. They had been invited to the forum on “Information Technology of the Future” by the Jülich Aachen Research Alliance. The event was presented by Kristina zur Mühlen, a presenter for German TV channels ZDF and NDR.

Thomas Rachel, parliamentary state secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and member of the Bundestag, gave the welcome address. He highlighted the importance of basic research and information technology.

Volker Smid

Volker Smid, chairman of the Board of Directors of Hewlett-Packard GmbH, delivered the keynote speech of the evening. He took his audience on an interesting and informative journey through the digital world of the year 2012 and the fundamentals of information technology. He also called for action needed to step into the future.

This was followed by discussions between experts on the topics of “Research for the Future”, “Green IT”, and “Quantum Computing”.

Prof. Christoph Stampfer, Prof. Markus Morgenstern, Kristina zur Mühlen and Parliamentary State Secretary Thomas Rachel

Prof. Stampfer and Prof. Morgenstern spoke about the special importance of basic research, using the example of graphene. They also provided an outlook on future applications. Thomas Rachel stressed the grand challenges that lie ahead for society in the next few decades and the contribution made by research. All those involved agreed that research requires freedom in order to be creative and successful.

Prof. Rainer Waser, Kristina zur Mühlen and Dr. Manfred Horstmann

The discussion on Green IT focused on the need to save energy in information technology. Dr. Manfred Horstmann from Globalfoundries Dresden outlined measures taken by industry to address this problem. According to him, the aim is to reduce energy consumption by 50 % from one generation of computer chips to the next. He also stressed that saving energy in production processes must not be neglected either. Prof. Waser and Prof. Larissa Juschkin presented new approaches to computer architectures and the working principles of future chips.

Prof. Hendrik Bluhm, Prof. David DiVincenzo, Kristina zur Mühlen and Krysta Svore

The last discussion of the evening was between visionaries of quantum computing. What will a quantum computer be able to do? When will the first quantum computer be built? These were some of the exciting questions discussed. Krysta Svore from Microsoft, who had come specially from the USA to attend this event, provided insights into research at one of the best-known companies in the world.

Afterwards, Kristina zur Mühlen welcomed the guests to the informal part of the evening. Discussions continued until the late hours of the evening. Many of the interested visitors were keen to talk to the experts.


More photos of the evening Link


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