UK Tech Summit draws big names

European Technology Forum's third annual gathering of the UK tech industry looks set to be more successful than ever

This year's UK Technology Summit has secured some of the country's biggest technology chief executives to speak at the two-day event. Mike Lynch, chief executive of Autonomy, will join the likes of Vodafone chief executive Gavin Darby and David Levin of Symbian.

"This is the most high-level gathering of the technology industry this year," said James Bennet, managing director of European Technology Forum, which runs the Tech Summit.

"We have the heads of most of the major technology vendors, together with the most influential chief information officers and chief technology officers. The idea is to take the pulse of where the industry is at right now, having gone through three turbulent years, and to look at what lies ahead."

The Summit, which is limited to 250 members, is held at the Bloomberg Studios in London's Finsbury Square. This will be the event's third year, and will see the launch of the first annual CNET Awards ceremony, created to recognise excellence in all areas of the UK technology industry. The European Technology Forum is a business unit of CNET Networks UK, which owns ZDNet UK and silicon.com.

"We started in the teeth of the recession," said Bennet. "And this has proved to be one of our most successful events." European Technology Forum also runs Cal-IT, which exposes tech firms from Silicon Valley to Europe, as well as one-off events such as the recent breakfast briefing with Scott McNealy in London. The reason the Tech Summit has enjoyed such success, believes Bennet, is that: "There is nothing else out there like this. No other event brings together the UK tech industry in this way."

Key among the issues to be discussed this year will be total cost of ownership, said Bennet. "This is a big issue for chief information officers at the moment, and for vendors trying to develop technologies for the market."

Another hot topic right now is wireless technology, he added. "We'll be looking at the practicalities of wireless technology; how you can make your enterprise completely wireless, while maintaining security, how you can manage it, and whether it is cost-effective." Other names speaking at the tech summit include Steve Garnett, who recently joined Salesforce.com as general manager from Siebel Systems, where he was head of alliances.

From the world of chief information officers, talks will be delivered by David Lester from the London Stock Exchange, Paul Coby of British Airways, Hamid Akhavan of T-Mobile, Nick Ralwins of ICI Paint and Brian Keating of the Safeway supermarket chain.

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