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Pictures of the Future

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sts.components.contact.mr.placeholder Sebastian Webel
Mr. Sebastian Webel

Editor-in-Chief

Tel: +49 (89) 636-32221

Fax: +49 89 636-35292

Werner-von-Siemens-Straße 1
80333 Munich

Pictures of the Future
The Magazine for Research and Innovation
 

Innovations

The Next Generation of Innovations

By establishing next47, an independent unit at Siemens, the company intends to strengthen and expand its relationship with start-ups, stimulate generation of disruptive ideas, and spur new technologies.

Faster, more agile, and simpler — Siemens is taking new approaches when it comes to innovation and is significantly expanding its collaboration with start-ups. By founding next47, an independent unit designed to supercharge cooperation with start-ups, the company aims to promote disruptive ideas more intensely and to further accelerate the development of new technologies. The Managing Board will provide one billion euros for this purpose over the next five years.

Artificial intelligence, decentralized electrification, autonomous machines, block chain applications, and connected e-mobility — these are the five fields where next47 will operate. As a result, next47 is a central component of the Siemens strategy in the growth segments of electrification, automation, and digitalization.

The new brand next47 creates the freedom to scale companies in quick and uncomplicated ways — without the organizational restrictions of a group. Bringing innovations to market quickly, in ways that meet customers’ needs, is crucial to the success of Siemens and also of next47.

The new unit will be given the necessary independence but can nevertheless leverage the advantages Siemens offers. “We are thus uniting the world of start-ups with the world of large companies. The advantages add up. They are enhanced agility, speed, and independence, coupled with a global customer base, many years of experience, credibility, and financial strength,” says Lak Ananth, manager of the unit.

The name “next47” plays on the fact that Siemens AG was founded in 1847 — and was itself a start-up in a backyard in Berlin back then. The number 47 in the name conveys this entrepreneurial and aspirational spirit and reflects the goal of carrying over Siemens’ success to the “next” generation of path-breaking innovations. Werner von Siemens displayed innovativeness, as well as courage and a thirst for action. In the year of his 200th birthday, next47 takes up these values and transports them into the future.

next47 will Operate Globally

The new unit’s first project, agreed on with Airbus in April 2016, is the electrification of aviation. The two companies aim to demonstrate the technical feasibility of hybrid/electric propulsion systems for aircraft ranging from small planes to medium-sized passenger aircraft by 2020.

next47 will operate globally and cater to all regions of the world from locations that include Berkeley, Shanghai, and Munich. Siemens has worked with start-ups for around 20 years. Over 800 million euros have been invested in around 180 start-ups. Siemens has contact with more than 2,000 start-ups every year, launches around 20 cooperation ventures a year, and has founded more than a dozen start-ups of its own.

The new next47 unit is a key component of the company’s open innovation strategy. Siemens encourages ideas from employees, for example with its Innovation Fund and platforms such as Quickstarter, and it networks with other companies, the science community, academia, and thought leaders, for example through close relationships with universities and the Siemens Technology and Innovation Council (STIC).

Norbert Aschenbrenner