A remarkable relationship

For a number of years, Siemens and the University of Sheffield have worked closely together to lay the groundwork for an innovative and collaborative future.

A student sat behind a window with the Siemens logo

The partnership between Siemens and the University of Sheffield has evolved from a collection of distinct, research-focused collaborations to a strategic partnership that is unique for both parties in its breadth and depth, co-creating innovative programmes, infrastructure and recruitment opportunities to advance the future industry.

“I am tremendously proud of this relationship, of the Siemens team and of Sheffield themselves, of the progress made and the partnership built. There have been tough conversations at times, we have different purposes, a different vocabulary. But both sides have built on it constructively and put in the effort to make it work.”

Brian Holliday 

Managing Director for Digital Industries Siemens UK

With a focus on the future of industry, Siemens looked for university partners who would be interested in new ways of collaborating. Siemens UK's Head of Innovation said that of the all the British institutions with excellent engineering research, only Sheffield was open to new ideas and willing to invest the new, necessary resources.

Based on a shared purpose and desire to collaborate, the University and Siemens began senior-level discussions on talent, research, and knowledge exchange. 

Discussions began with a systematic review of all activities to find shared interests aligned with corporate challenges and technology.  Juergen Maier CBE (then Chief Executive of Siemens UK, now a government advisor and prominent thought leader on national industrial strategy and a powerful champion of the Northern PowerHouse) was one of the partnership’s key architects, ensuring its real-world relevance to industry and a future focus.

Brian Holliday Managing Director for Digital Industries at Siemens UK discusses the importance of the partnership.

Celebrating mutual benefits 

  • The Partnership has changed the way Sheffield teaches
  • It has improved the student experience with new facilities and cutting-edge technology
  • It has improved graduate outcomes, making Sheffield more appealing to the best students
  • Positioned Sheffield as a forward-thinking, innovative, and willing partner for industry
  • Created new research partnerships and funding opportunities.

Key milestones in the partnership:

  • Siemens Wind Power forms a partnership with the University’s Electrical Machines and Drives Group to launch the Sheffield Siemens Wind Power Research Centre (S2WP) - Now Sheffield Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy Research Centre (S2GRE)
  • The partners work together to develop and launch a new kind of industry/student collaboration, Engineering: You’re Hired!
  • Siemens Gamesa and Sheffield co-lead a £7.6m EPSRC Prosperity Partnership ‘A New Partnership in Offshore Wind’
  • Sheffield becomes the first member of Siemens’ Mindsphere Innovation Network (MINe) for industry-university collaboration with the launch the Mindsphere Lounge. At the same time, cutting edge Siemens technology is embedded in the Diamond Pilot Plant (DiPP) to create a digital twin of its production line
  • Sheffield is chosen to trial a new kind of graduate selection initiative, the Sir William Siemens Challenge, launched at the MindSphere Lounge
  • Siemens becomes one of the AMRC’s Tier 1 partners, the culmination of 5 years of research collaboration
  • Siemens launch its Connected Curriculum in the MindSphere Lounge. This initiative to align graduate education more closely with the needs of employers is co-designed with the University of Sheffield, who are one of the scheme’s four pilot University partners
  • The Digital Innovation Zone is launched.

Professor Paul Beasley
Professor Paul Beasley

“Someone from Siemens Singapore can pick up the phone, be talking to a Professor at Sheffield and define a programme that same day. With the signature of a single sheet of A4, the project can be up and running in a week. Without the framework agreement this would be impossible. Digital technology needs this speed to remain relevant. Sheffield was the trailblazer in helping us to define these framework agreements and learn to talk to Universities.”

Professor Paul Beasley 

Head of Research and Development Siemens UK

As a result of the continuation and growth, Siemens now has more access to supply chains and SMEs via the AMRC and other facilities. Because of the relationship, Siemens can further demonstrate the benefits of their technology in real-world settings, enter new industries, and maintain a world-leading position against others.

The framework agreement, the Digital Innovation Zone, the Connected Curriculum, and university hackathons developed as a result of the relationship with Sheffield have served as a model for their interactions with all other UK universities.

Professor Jim Litster Vice President and Head of Engineering at the University of Sheffield 

To learn more about our partnership with Siemens contact our Industry Account Manager:

John Dale

M:+44(0)7725 603867
E: j.dale@sheffield.ac.uk