Siemens Case Study
Innovation Development Programme
Having varied operations across numerous markets means Siemens must harness the power of innovation to stay ahead of its competition. Skills shortages, increased costs, and a requirement to deliver for investors must be managed in a world in which consumers demand access to rapidly evolving technologies delivered in a sustainable way.
In 2022, Siemens identified the need for an innovation development programme for product lifecycle and business development managers in their Global Customer Services division, responsible for conceptualising, developing, and delivering new product offerings across international markets.
Competing with other organisations that may already dominate certain market areas requires a workforce that is open-minded to new trends, ideas, and market demands, and who can translate these into something useful for customers. To continue to offer an attractive portfolio of products in increasingly challenging markets, Siemens wanted to ensure they had team members able to understand the academic side of innovation management and become experienced in applying this knowledge to their day-to-day business. They felt the different perspective that could be gained from partnering with an academic institution would help them reinvent operational processes, making them more appropriate for current and future environments.
The University of Manchester was selected by Siemens as a lead partner in Siemens UK Northern Arc Research and Innovation Ecosystems along with the University of Sheffield and Newcastle University. The Siemens Global Research and Innovation Ecosystem programme (Siemens RIE) addresses today’s challenges with future technologies in a collaborative way. The University’s strategic partnerships team works with the Siemens RIE to collaborate on research activities across the University’s three faculties as part of our Business Engagement and Knowledge Exchange activities.
Our partnership approach to designing this customised programme proved to be highly collaborative and inventive. Siemens brought their expertise, challenges and lessons learned in developing and delivering new products, and we brought proven teaching and research expertise in innovation management.
Taner Caglar, Global Head of Product Portfolio at Siemens said: "As someone who has always been fascinated by innovation, I've come to realise that true creativity requires a foundation of academic insights."
"Without a solid understanding of the foundational concepts and theories in a given field, it's difficult to truly push the boundaries and come up with truly innovative ideas."
The three-day programme took a holistic and strategic approach to the development of innovation within the context of a complex, technology-focused organisation, using the critical exploration of practical innovation models and frameworks to support the development of their innovation management capabilities. At the heart of the programme were five applied workshops where delegates were exposed to innovation management practices at a diverse range of organisations, including Apple, Procter & Gamble, and Rolls-Royce, enabling them to identify opportunities to improve existing processes within their organisation.
The programme was delivered over two days at Alliance Manchester Business School, with the final day delivered on-site at Siemens’ Congleton facility, focused specifically on instilling a robust innovation management process within Siemens to maximise the value gained from the programme.
The programme enabled product lifecycle and business development managers at Siemens to identify opportunities for new business development through differentiation and business model innovation and gave them an increased knowledge of innovation drivers, definitions, risks, and processes and a better understanding of the roles of leadership, strategy, and culture in developing innovation.