CeBIT.automotiveITVolkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn will  be one of the speakers at the opening of this year's CeBIT high-tech fair in Hanover March 9.

Winterkorn will join German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron as opening speakers at the annual event. Britain is CeBIT's official partner country this year.

CeBIT, Europe's biggest IT fair, takes place March 10 through 14 at the Hanover Fair Grounds. The exhibition will pay special attention  to the opportunities provided by big data.

Oliver Frese, managing board member of Deutsche Messe, which organizes CeBIT, said Winterkorn's presence underlines the growing importance of IT for the car industry. “Particularly in the automotive industry, IT is one of the essential innovations drivers," he said.

On Thursday, March 13, automotiveIT will host its annual Congress at CeBIT. The conference focuses on the growing role of IT in the auto industry. Featured speakers include General Motors CIO Randy Mott and Toyota Motor Europe CIO Pierre Masai.

CeBIT also has its own conference program, with sessions running throughout the week. Speakers include European Commissioner Neelie Kroes and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

More information on CeBIT can be found at http://www.cebit.de/home.