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Fostering innovation to drive economic success

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Imagine an internet of things that, every day, adds five million more devices. Imagine a world where the cost of energy, transportation, goods, services and communication continues to drop, and where big data is smart. Imagine a world where artificial intelligence drives the next generation of automation and developments like synthetic biology push health and quality of life to new heights.  This world isn’t coming in the future.  It’s already here.

Having grown from an entrepreneur’s vision into an industrial innovator with lines of business that impact nearly every facet of people’s lives, Siemens has an important role to play in helping to shape the fourth industrial revolution and positioning the United States as a leader.

To drive innovation, Siemens is focusing on three key areas:

  • leveraging partnerships to expand investment in research and development;
  • helping the United States regain its global leadership role in manufacturing by leading the digital transformation;
  • and fostering the growth of entrepreneurship.

Next47: Harnessing entrepreneurial spirit

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Like many plucky startups today, Siemens came from humble beginnings. The company was launched in a backyard in Berlin in 1847. That entrepreneurial spirit made Siemens into what it is today and it’s the reason we are compelled to foster future generations of world-changing innovations. That vision for entrepreneurship is why Siemens created an independent innovation unit within the company, next47, to pursue partnerships with startups to rapidly commercialize emerging technology.

With a billion dollars in support over the next five years, next47 combines the raw digital talent of startups with Siemens’ industrial domain knowledge. Part of the goal is to incentivize more and more tech resources to focus on new challenges that will drive social value: from the care you receive at the hospital, to the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing, to the way we ship goods or drive to work,to how to add more renewable energy to the power grid. 

How digitalization is making virtual, real

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Digitalization is transforming industrial service, just as it has consumer industries. For example, in its power generation service business, Siemens is now using DAQRI augmented reality (AR) helmet technology in gas turbine training and field service operations.  Through AR, technicians can utilize more accessible, intuitive training instructions. The smart helmet technology helps workers increase speed, efficiency and accuracy – maximizing the availability and productivity of assets.  This is just one of several new digital tools that support Siemens’ push to develop data-driven digital services to help customers be more productive.  

Siemens also recently launched Digital Rail Services in the U.S., a new business that will use intelligent sensors and advanced software platforms to put intelligence behind billions of data points created on the country’s rail systems. This insight will help rail operators across the U.S. improve their operations and create an “Internet of Trains” to bring infrastructure and vehicles into the digital era. Powered by software tools, the Digital Service business will help rail operators reduce unplanned downtime, improve operational efficiency, enable improved business planning and performance, as well as generate energy and cost savings.

To support this new business, Siemens opened a new locomotive service facility in New Castle where technicians and engineers will monitor locomotive data and apply both digital analytics and extensive industry knowledge to move rail further into the digital age. New Castle also will serve as a training facility for digital skills. In fact, before Siemens’ field technicians go to customer sites, they’ll go to New Castle to train using virtual reality equipment. Goggles will take them inside each customer’s locomotives. Handheld controls will enable them to work on switches, components and panels.