Siemens Announces Third Series of R&D Challenges to Bolster Innovation Pipeline and Support Future of Work

- Company will award 12 fellowships across three leading universities and invest more than $1 million in winning ideas


Wednesday, December 11, 2019 2:00 pm EST



Siemens Corporate Technology today announced FutureMakers Fellowships 3.0, the third series of its R&D challenges to bolster its innovation pipeline and support the future of work. Participating universities include Carnegie Mellon University, University of California, Berkeley, and the Georgia Institute of Technology. The universities were selected based on their technical strengths, match to Siemens’ projects and history of collaboration.

Siemens will invest $1 million in fellowship awards for 12 students who will work with its researchers and scientists over the course of a year to bring their technologies from concept to reality.

“With these challenges, we’re not just providing monetary support, but inviting students to collaborate with our R&D experts in-person and develop their ideas for real-world impact,” said Virginie Maillard, head of Siemens Corporate Technology USA and head of the Simulation and Digital Twin Technology Field. “These students have innovative concepts for solving today’s societal challenges, and we’re excited to work with them and bring the technologies to life.”

During the challenges, doctoral students at each university develop next-generation software concepts around emerging technologies and trends based on Siemens’ R&D portfolio, university core competences, and market-driven needs including cybersecurity; gamification; robotics; artificial intelligence; and big data analytics.

“From inception to its realization, this is a great program. During the Challenge, our team of students worked tirelessly for 24 hours and came up with a computational tool using machine learning techniques and topology optimization to speed digital design and manufacturing. Since then we have been collaborating with the Siemens colleagues, which involves frequent teleconferences, site visits, internships and fellowships. This culminated with Siemens hiring one of the students who won the Challenge – a success story!” said Glaucio Paulino, Raymond Allen Jones Chair and Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology.

In the first series of R&D challenges in 2018, Rutgers University’s theme was agriculture, and the winning team developed a concept for identifying the health of a plant. Successfully demonstrating their research, the core members of the team were hired by Siemens as interns to continue working on the project at Siemens Corporate Technology headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey. There, the students worked with Siemens engineers to develop a continuous monitoring system and support it with models for how sensors can estimate health with analytics built on Siemens MindSphere application.

“For me, the benefit of the program was not only the advanced technology made available to us, but the exposure to the Siemens Corporate Technology engineers,” said Merrill Edmonds, doctoral student at Rutgers University and participant in FutureMakers 1.0. “We were able to present several demos to Siemens colleagues, and there even were four to five student groups that came in to see our work. Our overall goals were met as far as the research project, as well as the altruistic goal of providing a healthier food supply that had a lot of merit.”

The purpose of Siemens FutureMakers Fellowship program is to foster the creation of innovative ideas and pivotal technologies that transform the worlds of industrial automation, manufacturing, artificial intelligence, and beyond. The program requires students to propose software solutions that demonstrate how their ideas address the assigned industry challenge. The university partner then selects the winners based on innovation, out-of-the-box thinking and relevance to market needs. Through the FutureMakers program, Siemens is taking a unique approach to university partnerships that foster continued collaboration with funded doctoral degree sponsorships.

For more information on Siemens Corporate Technology in Princeton, New Jersey, visit

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Siemens Corporation is a U.S. subsidiary of Siemens AG, a global powerhouse focusing on the areas of power generation and distribution, intelligent infrastructure for buildings and distributed energy systems, and automation and digitalization in the process and manufacturing industries. Through the separately managed company Siemens Mobility, a leading supplier of smart mobility solutions for rail and road transport, Siemens is shaping the world market for passenger and freight services. Due to its majority stakes in the publicly listed companies Siemens Healthineers AG and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Siemens is also a world-leading supplier of medical technology and digital healthcare services as well as environmentally friendly solutions for onshore and offshore wind power generation. For more than 160 years, the company has innovated and invented technologies to support American industry spanning manufacturing, energy, healthcare and infrastructure. In fiscal 2018, Siemens USA reported revenue of $23.7 billion, including $5.0 billion in exports, and employs approximately 50,000 people throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico.