Engineering giant Siemens is establishing a robotics research and development centre in China.
The company says the facility will be a global research centre in autonomous robotics, and is part of its innovation strategy to “master technology fields that are critical for future success”.
Worldwide, Siemens is planning to spend $6 billion this year on R&D, and China is likely to represent a significant portion of that budget.
Siemens says the global research community in its China R&D centre will comprise experienced experts from around the world will focus on:
- the research and development of new mechatronics systems,
- human-robot collaboration; and
- the application of artificial intelligence in robotic controllers.
In line with this strategic move, Siemens has also entered into a partnership with Tsinghua University, one of Siemens’ Center of Knowledge Interchange universities, to jointly set up a robotics research center in Beijing.
The company announced the move on Siemens Innovation Day China 2017, which was held in Suzhou today, on September 14.
Around 400 customers and partners joined Siemens to explore the ways in which innovations are contributing to China’s transformation.
Dr Roland Busch, chief technology officer and member of the managing board of Siemens, says: “China’s digital transformation is already having a profound impact on its economy.
“With Made in China 2025 and the Belt & Road initiatives, China intends to upgrade its national industry and boost its global competence through digitalization-focused innovations.
“Siemens is investing heavily in the future of China and partnering with the country and many customers on its way to digitalization.”
In addition to autonomous robotics, Siemens’ core R&D areas in China include data analytics, cyber security, industrial internet of things and digital twin, and connected city solutions.
To tap the great potential of these technologies, Siemens has been partnering with Chinese governments, universities and customers to address challenges such as:
- traffic congestion;
- energy saving;
- public convenience; and
- the environment.
The overall plan is to build “digital cities” across the country by optimizing the performance of infrastructure and improving the living conditions of city dwellers through its connected city solutions, says Siemens.
Siemens has also been pushing its MindSphere industrial internet ecosystem to China.
Siemens and the Hong Kong Science Park today entered into an agreement to create Hong Kong’s first smart city digital hub.
This hub will be powered by MindSphere, the cloud-based IoT operating system from Siemens, to tackle the city’s challenges through an “open, interactive and holistic approach”, says the company.
Siemens has also extended its cooperation with Zhuhai for a “tailored, intelligent traffic management solution” and utilised Embedded City Sensor Boxes in the Suzhou Industrial Park to help reduce congestion and air pollution, optimize infrastructure operation and improve public safety, says the company.
Earlier this month, the Siemens China Cyber Defense Center, which started operation this May, received official National Grade Protection Level 3 certification from China’s Ministry of Public Security.
This and its previous ISO27001 certification from TÜV SÜD make Siemens the first industrial multinational company to be compliant with both local and international security standards and capable of protecting industries on their way to digitalization.
Siemens has also teamed up with a number of local governments and 87 local universities and technology institutes in China to conduct scientific research and develop talent.
Lothar Herrmann, CEO Siemens Greater China, says: “We’re constructing an open, inclusive and trust-based innovation eco-system in China aimed at value co-creation in the digital age.
“Siemens is bringing the next generation of innovations to life for our customers and society, in China and the world.”
China has become one of Siemens’ largest R&D locations worldwide. In the year to September, 2016, Siemens had over 4,500 R&D researchers and engineers, 20 R&D hubs and more than 11,000 active patents and patent applications in China.