Sie Change

Siemens begins two major ventures for the future

Siemens’ CEO Joe Kaeser announced in the fall of 2016 that the company would harbor a cautious approach in the coming year. So much for that.

While Kaeser was mainly referring to mergers and acquisitions, its now clear he was playing a strategic hand of sorts. A hardly-minimalist technological initiative was revealed as July began through two major ventures: the launch of a digitalization hub in Singapore and the formation of an energy storage arm of business.

First, this Monday, Siemens and AES Corp. announced plans to form a new global energy storage technology and services company. The new company, to be called Fluence, would combine AES’ Advancion battery systems with Siemens’ Siestorage energy storage platform. The companies reportedly have a collective 463 MW of storage capacity at 48 operational storage facilities in 13 countries. Siemens and AES will have joint control of the company with each holding a 50% stake. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter, pending regulatory approvals.

On Tuesday, the company inaugurated its first large-scale application of MindSphere—Siemens’ open, cloud-based operating system for the Internet of Things—in Singapore. The technological hotbed will serve as fertile ground in Siemens’ efforts to make the Southeast Asian city-state a “smart nation.” The goal is to digitalize its infrastructure as much as possible, according to a Siemens press release. The hub inauguration was celebrated through parallel events in Singapore and at Siemens’ headquarters in Munich: Armin Bruck, CEO of Siemens Singapore, opened the hub in Singapore while Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Joe Kaeser, President and CEO of Siemens AG, signed a symbolic plaque in Munich. At the digitalization hub, Siemens will develop and offer new digital applications and expects to employ 300 digital experts by 2022. The company sees data-driven cities as an important step in modernized infrastructure (it’s not alone).

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