Siemens enhances R&D capacities in China

Tuesday, Aug 04, 2015 11:22

Beitucheng Station, transfer station of Beijing Metro Line 8 and Line 10, both use the Siemens Trainguard MT technology, which can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 10,000 tonnes annually on a typical metro line thanks to energy-optimized travel. The innovation solution-developed based on the unique needs of the Chinese customers originally for the 2008 Beijing Olympics – is today installed in metro-system world-wide.  — Photo Siemens

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — Siemens, one of the multinational companies to have established technology centre in China at a very early stage, has doubled its investment over the last decade to enhance R&D capabilities in the Asian country.

"China is one of Siemens's most important innovation hubs worldwide. Our aim is to strengthen business in China and get closer to the customer with local innovations – not only in China but also globally," said Siegfried Russwurm, member of Siemens Management Board and Chief Technology Officer.

The company's expenditure on R&D rose by 20 per cent year-on-year from fiscal year 2013 to 2014, he added.

As China's economy is entering a new stage of "New Normal," powered by innovation, "we see greater growth momentum behind the change and Siemens will stay committed to invest in R&D for the benefit of China's sustainable and quality growth in the long run," Lothar Herrmann, CEO of Siemens Greater China, said.

Today, Siemens China operates 20 R&D centres nation-wide as well as major central research units with locations in Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing, which employ more than 400 top-notch innovators, the company said in its latest press release.

The number patents granted to it have increased fivefold over the last decade, reaching more than 4,900 as of fiscal 2014 while its first patent applications have also risen by almost ten times.

In fiscal 2014 alone, the company submitted 400 patents first applications and the R&D researchers reported 800 inventions, it noted.

In 2013, Siemens built innovation centres in Wuhan and Wuxi provinces, which aim to drive local, need-driven innovation projects and pursue joint projects with local government and partners through co-operating with small and medium-sized businesses in developing pilot projects.

Co-operation with universities

Researchers are working at the Siemens Innovation Center in Wuhan. The center is a branch of Siemens Corporate Technology that works closely with local authorities in order to develop an infrastructure for data services for future mobility management. — Photo  Siemens

From 2005 to February 2014, Siemens also established strategic partnership with 12 Chinese universities, resulting in approximately 500 research projects of these universities receiving funding support from Siemens.

Long-term co-operation also happened with many other universities and educational organizations.

When it comes to collaborating, the Centre of Knowledge Interchange (CKI) programme is regarded as Siemens' most intensive one with chosen universities whose research portfolios meet the company's innovation needs.

As part of the CKI programme, both parties signed a five-year framework agreement, valued at multi-million Chinese yuan per year, focusing on R&D collaboration.

The programme will cover a wide spectrum of topics, including high speed train technologies, water purification, CO2 capture, clean imaging, intelligent traffic systems and other areas of mutual interest.

Ma Jun, Director of Overseas R&D Management Office at Tsinghua University, said her university entered a CKI agreement with Siemens in 2008.

As part of the agreement, 89 research projects received Siemens' financial assistance worth 37 million Chinese yuan (about US$5.98 million) during 2009-11 while a series of technical workshops saw participation of experts from both sides at the Tsinghua University.

The CKI also facilitated bilateral co-ordination in energy efficiency technology and research series related to turbine materials, she said. — VNS

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