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Moderator: Jan-Christoph BorchardtCompletata
After studying mathematics and computer science in Münster and writing his diploma thesis on Artificial Neural Networks (AI), Mr. Außendorf worked in the Rhineland as a consultant and branch manager at Suse Linux AG from 1999 onwards, after a first professional station at Siemens in Colombia. From 2004 co-founder and managing director of two IT consulting and software companies in the open source environment.
Since 2021, Mr. Außendorf has been a member of the Bundestag. As spokesman for digital policy and as a member of the Committee on Digital Affairs and the Committee on Economic Affairs, he is committed to making the best possible use of the potential of digitization in government and society and to driving forward the ecological transformation of the economy.
Image credits © Stefan Kaminski
Alongside climate protection, digitization is repeatedly named as the major issue of our time - and rightly so. This is where opportunities and risks, problems and solutions come together. Therefore, we have set ourselves the goal of making the best possible use of the potential of digitization in government and society. A digital administration, the strengthening of digital sovereignty and comprehensive IT security, as well as a future-proof digital infrastructure are essential for making the vision of a modern state a reality. Digitization can also play a central role in achieving the 1.5-degree target. Aligning the digital transformation with sustainability and climate protection is a necessary prerequisite for remaining competitive in the long term.
Whether home office, distance learning or digital administrative services - people can only participate in increasingly digitized life with fast, reliable and broadband Internet. Comprehensive fiber-optic coverage is therefore prominently anchored in the coalition agreement. As politicians, we can shape the framework conditions in the best possible way: We can reduce bureaucratic obstacles, speed up approval procedures and increase civil engineering capacity by making greater use of alternative laying techniques such as trenching.
The energy consumption of data centers, end devices and transmission networks is often cited as a major problem of digital processes. We address this challenge in the coalition agreement with, among other things, environmental management standards for the federal government's data centers from 2025 and mandatory climate neutrality for new data centers from 2027 onwards. Moreover, practical solutions can result from such transformation: the use of waste heat from data centers for local heat supply or - as an example from North Friesland has shown, a data center with a greenhouse on the roof which even has a climate-positive effect.
Europe's digital sovereignty must be preserved and strengthened, with an independent cloud infrastructure and extensive use of Open-Source Software (OSS). In order for greater technological sovereignty and higher competitiveness in Europe more resources need to be invested in a high-performance, competitive, secure and European data infrastructure. The Gaia-X projects Sovereign Cloud Stack (SCS) and Gaia-X Federation Services (GXFS) feature prominently in this regard.