Every year, Siemens recognizes its outstanding researchers and developers as Inventors of the Year in five categories: Newcomers, Open Innovation, Outstanding Invention, Lifetime Achievement, and Design and User Experience. These prize-winning inventors are continuing a Siemens tradition that began 175 years ago. Their inventions benefit both society and the economy by enabling people to travel more sustainably, by making industry smarter and more efficient or by improving therapeutic methods. Sixteen Inventors of the Year for 2022 were honored today. They hail from Germany, Hong Kong, India, Canada, Lebanon, Austria, Poland and Scotland. Details on the prize-winning inventions and the people behind them are available at: www.siemens.com/inventors.
“Siemens is a technology provider for customers in industry, infrastructure, transport and healthcare. And these are precisely the areas on which we focus our research and development activities,” said Peter Körte, Chief Technology Officer of Siemens AG. “This year, Siemens is celebrating its 175th anniversary. And from the beginning, we’ve been inventing and shaping technologies that improve people’s lives. Our core technologies enable customers to reduce emissions and cut costs by enhancing both quality and resource efficiency. With their ingenious solutions, our inventors lay the foundation for these improvements while creating value for the economy and for society.“
From bionic metro systems to empathetic chatbots
The 16 prize-winning inventors are part of a fantastic team: in fiscal 2022, Siemens employees created over 4,650 inventions or about 18 inventions per workday. In the same period, the company invested about €5.6 billion or 8 percent of its revenue in research and development, an increase of more than 14 percent over fiscal 2021. Siemens employs around 47,000 researchers and developers.
“To tackle the enormous challenges of our time – such as climate change and other crises – we constantly need new approaches for better and more effective solutions. Behind these great inventions, technologies and innovations always stand great people. And that’s exactly why we honor our Inventors of the Year,” said Judith Wiese, Chief People and Sustainability Officer and member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG. “To concretely foster innovation at our company, we’re also focusing on a new way of thinking: on the ability to take up ideas from outside and continuously learn as well as on the possibility to experiment and constantly try out new things. This ‘growth mindset’ is enabling us to drive innovation and thus multiply the positive effects of our technologies for the benefit of people and the environment,” she added.
As a result, cooperation in an extensive ecosystem is also a key component of Siemens’ research activities: the company collaborates with universities, research institutes and startups in 16 global Research and Innovation Ecosystems.
The inventions honored by Siemens AG this year include an innovation that makes metro systems more sustainable by dramatically reducing the weight of rail vehicles through a bionic structure in the vehicles’ sidewalls. Another Siemens team is providing engineers in the additive manufacturing industry (3D printing) with a high degree of design freedom while enormously reducing the representation of designs in CAD systems to kilobytes from gigabytes. In the area of X-ray imaging, ingenious Siemens inventors have revolutionized quality through the use of photon-counting computed tomography scanners and also reduced radiation intensity. On the way to the industrial metaverse, there has been major progress in the areas of executable digital twins, UX design and empathetic computing – a development that, among other things, teaches emotions to chatbots.
Focus on technologies that benefit people
At Siemens, an innovation is an invention multiplied by commercialization plus its application. The company’s strategy is to develop technologies that benefit people by guaranteeing high-quality inventions and patents. The guiding principle is, accordingly, “quality over quantity.” Owning a large number of patents is, in itself, neither cost-effective nor a primary objective. As a result, Siemens AG focuses its patent applications on inventions that sustainably improve both its own products and services and those of its customers and thus also constantly create value for the economy and for society. This applies, in particular, also to all areas of sustainability, such as resource efficiency, decarbonization and climate protection.
To maximize customer value, the company is leveraging the Siemens Xcelerator platform in order to focus on open ecosystems that bring together the best actors in the market and on an open technology that makes Siemens’ digital and IoT-capable offerings available to its partners and certified third parties. Such partnerships are of vital importance since no company can master its digital transformation on its own.