RWTH and Siemens Celebrate 20-Year Partnership

People on stage holding glasses in their hands Copyright: © Martin Braun

RWTH has been one of five Siemens AG Research and Innovation Ecosystems (RIE) in Germany since 2003. The University and Siemens recently celebrated 20 years of close partnership.


Strategic partnerships between Siemens and technical universities began back in 1998 with the Centers for Knowledge and Interchange (CKI), where RWTH has been a member since 2003. In 2021, the program continued under a new name: Siemens Research and Innovation Ecosystem (RIE). At the same time, Siemens and RWTH are expanding the partnership platform with excellent supra-regional partners such as Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Forschungszentrum Jülich, and KU Leuven in Belgium. Siemens RIE comprises a total of 16 alliances from universities, research institutions, academic startups, tech incubators, and customers worldwide.

"I am delighted that we can now look back on 20 years of our close partnership with RWTH," says Dr. Peter Körte CTO & CSO Siemens AG. "Our close partnerships with the best technical universities in Germany, which includes RWTH, help us and our customers drive forward the two key topics of digitalization and decarbonization in industry. It is important to us that cutting-edge research at these universities is transferred into industry so we can find the best technological solutions together."

Professor Ulrich Rüdiger, Rector of RWTH: "We at RWTH are facing up to the major global challenges of our time. We want to make an important contribution to society with our research, for example when it comes to developing a sustainable energy supply and digital transformation. We cannot do this alone. We need our networks and, in particular, strong partners from industry. We have a long-standing and solid partnership with Siemens here."

Facilitating Knowledge Transfer Between Universities and Industry

Coordinated with Siemens' technology portfolio and close to excellent university research: the goal of simplifying the knowledge transfer between universities and industry and promoting early-career researchers has been achieved in cooperation with RWTH for two decades.

Siemens promotes working with young entrepreneurs in an industrial environment. One example of this is the startup RIIICO, which is carrying out pilot projects on the industrial metaverse as part of the RIE. Founded in Aachen by RWTH graduates and based in Düsseldorf, the tech company offers an innovative AI-based software solution that enables its customers to exploit the full potential of 3D scan data. RIIICO is now also a partner of the Siemens Xcelerator Digital Business Platform.

"From our participation in the Siemens Research and Innovation Ecosystem to our current Xcelerator partnership: as a young startup, we had fast access to the company's projects thanks to the connection between RWTH and Siemens. This enabled us to drive forward the development of automation and artificial intelligence and maintain a regular exchange with other founders and pioneers," says Jan Büchsenschütz, RWTH alumni and cofounder of RIIICO.

In addition to countless master's and doctoral theses sponsored by Siemens, Siemens RIE focuses on joint research projects at RWTH. One example of this is ENSURE – one of the German government's Kopernikus projects, it focuses on the energy grid of the future by developing cross-sectoral operational concepts for electricity and gas grids for an optimal mix of centralized and decentralized supply, a reliable and efficient energy supply with over 80 percent renewable energies, and the use of new technologies.
Siemens is leading the ENSURE consortium in close cooperation with RWTH.

The project GeMeKI – Generalization of Human-Centric AI Applications for Production Optimization investigates the sustainable improvement of the performance, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness of complex manufacturing systems through the human-centric combination of expertise, production equipment, and artificial intelligence in hybrid intelligence systems. Here too, the University and companies are joining forces in a targeted manner.

Contact for Journalists

Siemens AG, Press Office for Northern and Western Germany
Telephone: +49 1525 469 0423

RWTH Aachen University, Press and Communications
Telephone: +49 241 8094323