ZURICH (Reuters) – Siemens (SIEGn.DE) returned to its Berlin roots Wednesday and announced plans to invest up to 600 million euros ($ 681 million) in the construction of an industrial and technology hub in the German capital.
Siemens boss Joe Kaeser looks during a contract signing in Berlin on 31 October 2018 on an innovation campus. REUTERS / Hannibal Hanschke
The investment will help to build a new Siemens city in the part of Berlin where the predecessor company of the mechanical engineering group established factories at the end of the 19th century.
The new project in Spandau with an area of 70 hectares aims to transform the large industrial area into a modern district of the future in order to promote innovation and cooperation between science and industry, said Siemens.
As part of the project, the current Siemens property in Spandau is to be expanded into a technology park and business start-up location by the end of 2030.
Activities in areas such as distributed energy systems and energy management, electric vehicle technology, machine learning, artificial intelligence, data analysis and blockchain will be located in Siemensstadt.
Siemens said the investment was a long-term commitment to Germany as a business location. Hundreds of jobs are likely to be created. Siemens said it was too early to give an exact number.
Last month, as part of a restructuring plan, the company had reduced some 2,900 jobs in Germany to achieve cost savings of € 500 million.
The Zug-zu-Industrie-Turbinen Group also said on Wednesday that it will create an industrial and scientific site in Berlin to deal with conventional power plant technology.
CEO Joe Kaeser said the new Siemens city will follow the example of the original Siemmas city and help shape future industry.
"The idea behind the founding of Siemensstadt in 1897 was to combine spaces for working, exploring and living to create a beneficial symbiosis for a successful future," he said.
"Today too, we need to rethink the future of work. Working, learning and living will be more integrated, and the increasing interconnectedness between people and things will create new ecosystems. "
Berlin Mayor Michael Müller said new jobs were being created and the city's status as a science center would be enhanced by the investment.
(1 USD = 0,8812 Euro)
Reporting by John Revill; Arrangement by Maria Sheahan and David Goodman