EURIM 2009 Annual General Meeting at the House of Lords

Yesterday I was at the Palace of Westminster, or rather the House of Lords, for the 2009 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of EURIM, the European Information Society Group, which “brings together politicians, officials and industry to help improve the quality of policy formation, consultation, scrutiny, implementation and monitoring in support of the creation of a globally competitive, socially inclusive and democratically accountable information society”.

I brought up three points with the EURIM Board, firstly the disparity of R&D; spending by Industry sector (and the fact that in the UK 75% of all business R&D; is done in the manufacturing industry alone, an industry provides just 13% of the GDP of the UK), secondly I asked what EURIM’s position was in response to EU Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding’s call for the US to hand over control of ICANN so it can be overseen by an independent international tribunal, and thirdly in regards to the UK stimulation package and it’s support, or rather lack of, the UK’s ‘Digital Infrastructure’ (more on this topic in a separate article as I’d planned for it to be one of my pieces on the economic recovery of the UK).

All three were well received, and I especially enjoyed a discussion that arose around the ‘Professionalism in IT’ agenda, and it’s likely resurgence as a topic of interest across the major stakeholders in the UK after a relatively quiet period of activity.

After the meeting I continued the conversation about IT Professionalism with Michael Gough, Head of Government Affairs at EDS and ex-Chief Executive of the National Computing Centre (NCC) where he spent eight highly productive years (Steve Markwell has taken over the reins of CEO). Of course during his tenure the NCC was one quarter of the “Prof IT Alliance“, an alliance of interested parties looking at supporting the IT Professionalism agenda (along with Intellect, the BCS, and the e-Skills Council UK, the sector skills license holder for IT and Telecoms skills).

I also spoke with industry friends and peers (including those from IBM, Microsoft, Atkins, and others), as well The Lord Renwick, EURIM President, and Dr David Wright, EURIM Deputy Secretary General.

Almost everyone asked about the Oracle acquisition of Sun, and I had to say that due to SEC rulings we wouldn’t be seeing any integration until the deal was sanctioned by the US Government. This sort of thing is the norm in large scale mergers and acquisitions born out of the US and everyone who asked were understanding of this.

The next EURIM event I’m due at is with the Conservative Technology Forum entitled “The Future of the NHS IT Program” event, where we are due to partake in a forum hosted Guy Hains, EMEA CSC Alliance, Pearse Butler, Dir UK Healthcare CSC, Dr Glyn Hayes, President of the Primary Health Care Specialist Group of the BCS, and Stephen O’Brien MP, the Shadow Minister for Health. More on the CSC Alliance here:

I took a few photographs yesterday whilst around and about Westminster and from within the Main Hall (the only place guests are allowed to take photos whilst in the Houses of Parliament), and thought that I’d share them with you too.

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