Siemens is teaming up for the third time with the Stiftung Jugend forscht to host Germany's best-known youth competition. The company previously hosted the nationwide event in 1976 and 1997. This year's competition, the fifty-second, will be held in Erlangen, Germany, on May 25-28, 2017. The final winners will be selected by a jury from among the 200 winners of statewide contests and presented with their awards on May 28 by the German Minister of Education and Research.
The competition's location is traditionally chosen by the host company. Siemens has opted for Erlangen, a major company location, where it has more than 23,000 employees. The nurturing of young talents has a long tradition in Erlangen, where Siemens employed some 1,000 trainees in fiscal 2016.
"Jugend forscht motivates," said Joe Kaeser, Siemens President and CEO. "It brings together the brightest young people in Germany and gives them a chance to fight for their ideas – a fantastic forum that inspires and where we'll perhaps discover another Siemens inventor of tomorrow."
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As host of the Jugend forscht competition, Siemens is fostering outstanding achievements and abilities in mathematics, computer science, the natural sciences and technology. Frank Anton, who heads the Electric Aircraft Team at Siemens in Erlangen, is the contact and competition officer for aspiring young talents. Anton was himself a Jugend forscht winner in 1975 in the area of technology. Today, he is helping develop electric aircraft drives at Siemens. In 2015, Anton and his team presented a world-record-setting electric motor, which completed its maiden flight in the summer of 2016.
Today, as every year, Siemens will honor in Munich particularly ingenious researchers as Inventors of the Year. The winners of this year's award – ten scientists from Germany, Austria, the U.S and Denmark – are together responsible for some 558 invention disclosures and 597 individual patents. "Research in the 21st century can't take place in an ivory tower," said Joe Kaeser. "The magic words are 'open innovation' – innovation today is a team sport."
For this reason, the award, which has been presented to the company's outstanding researchers and developers annually since 1995, has greater importance than ever. New Talents, Outstanding Innovation, Lifework and Open Innovation are the categories in which inventors who have made a major contribution to the company's success will be honored.
For the first time, the prize in the fourth category, Open Innovation, will also be awarded to external researchers. For example, one award will go to Prof. Christian Moser of the Technical University in Graz, Austria. Working with colleagues at Siemens Mobility, he has succeeded in reducing the weight of chassis frames in passenger trains by 50 percent. The company will also honor Dr. Roland Gersch, a former Siemens employee who set up the successful spinoff Caterva, a startup business that now offers energy storage models for private solar systems.