Global technology company Siemens is to set up a separate unit to support innovative ideas and to accelerate the development of new technologies.
next47, whose name plays on the fact that Siemens was founded in 1847, will pool Siemens’ existing startup activities coupling speed and independence with a global customer base, experience, and financial strength.
Led by Siegfried Russwurm, Siemens Chief Technology Officer, the new unit will have funding of €1 billion for the first five years. It will start operations on October 1, 2016.
With offices in Berkeley, Shanghai and Munich, next47 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.
The first project, following an agreement with Airbus in April 2016, will be the electrification of aviation. The two companies aim to demonstrate by 2020 the technical feasibility of hybrid/electric propulsion systems for small planes to medium-sized passenger aircraft. Other important innovation fields will include artificial intelligence, autonomous machines, decentralized electrification and networked mobility.
Focus will also be on blockchain applications.
In the past 20 years, Siemens has invested more than €800 million in approximately 180 startups.