In the current fiscal year 2016, Siemens will invest around €4.8 billion in research and development (R&D) – some €300 million more than last fiscal year. The Munich (and Berlin) headquartered company will not only invest in new research centers at Munich’s Technical University (TUM) in Garching and in China, but is also launching an investment fund to strengthen its employees' power of innovation in a targeted manner. For this purpose, the company is making up to €100 million available over the next three years ‒ in addition to the €300 million in increased R&D investment in the current fiscal year.
This money will be used to foster creative employee ideas with an economic benefit. Unlike the projects financed by Innovation AG, these ideas do not have to focus exclusively on new technologies or new businesses in order to be worthy of support – they can also target improved processes, services or better customer retention.
Siemens has also honoured nine particularly ingenious researchers as Inventors of the Year 2015. The scientists – from Germany, the U.S., the UK and Norway – are together responsible for some 650 inventions and 309 individual patent grants.
"Our company's success and its long-term future lie in our power of innovation. The motivation and creativity of our highly expert employees have a key role to play in this connection," said Joe Kaeser, President and CEO of Siemens AG. "Our company needs good ideas ‒ and we're creating the conditions that will enable clever minds both inside and outside our company to implement their ideas quickly and effectively."
"In the 21st century, research isn't ‒ and can't be ‒ conducted only in an ivory tower," says Chief Technology Officer Siegfried Russwurm. "Times have changed. Inventors no longer develop ideas for the future in isolation. Today, innovation requires a new, open style of cooperation. Taking inspiration from crowdsourcing and software hackathons, engaging in cooperative projects with universities, research institutes and small, flexible startups – all this is what we at Siemens are now doing every day."