Siemens will set up next47 as a separate unit for startups to foster ideas more effectively and accelerate the development of new technologies.
The next47 unit aims to pool Siemens’ existing startup activities to enable the company to unite the best of the world.
The next47 unit will achieve speed and independence with a global customer base, with funds of €1bn for the first five years.
Siemens Chief Technology Officer Siegfried Russwurm will head the new unit on an acting basis.
President and CEO of Siemens AG Joe Kaeser said that with next47 the company will live up to the Siemens founder’s ideals and create an important basis for fostering innovation to continue Siemens’ development.
Kaeser added that the new unit will be given the necessary independence but can nevertheless leverage the advantages offered by Siemens.
“It will have offices in Berkeley, Shanghai and Munich and cover all regions of the world from those locations. Next47 will build on Siemens’ existing startup activities,” Kaeser said. “The new unit will be open to employees as well as to founders, external startups and established companies if they want to pursue business ideas in the company’s strategic innovation fields”.
Russwurm said that next47 will provide the freedom to experiment and grow without the organisational restrictions of a large company.
“The first project at next47, following an agreement with Airbus in April 2016, will be the electrification of aviation. Siemens and Airbus aim to demonstrate by 2020 the technical feasibility of hybrid and electric propulsion systems for small planes to medium-sized passenger aircraft,” added Russwurm.
Siemens has been collaborating with startups since the late nineties. The company has invested more than €800m in approximately 180 startups over the past 20 years and Siemens is in contact with over 1,000 startups a year.