Interviews and quotes

Thomas Braun

Thomas Braun, General Manager, Siemens Campus Erlangen
Siemens Campus Erlangen is not a static project; it is alive and continuously developing. The Campus is being created one module at a time. This allows us to respond to changes over a period of about 15 years and make continuous improvements.

Thomas Braun, General Manager, Siemens Campus Erlangen 

As General Manager, Thomas Braun oversees everything related to the Siemens Campus Erlangen.

 

In 2013, Siemens announced the project; currently, construction for the first module is underway. What does the Siemens Campus mean for the region?

Thomas Braun: "First off: we are on schedule. The first building shells of module 1 are already in place. In 2020, we will start moving people in. At the same time, we are planning for module 2. As was announced just now, the future Siemens Mobility company will be headquartered in module 1. This confirms a strong commitment to the Erlangen location – as does Siemens’ entire investment in the Campus. As part of our corporate initiative, we are transforming the current private research park into an open and vibrant part of the city. With an attractive campus setting, state-of-the-art buildings, a modern office infrastructure and large green spaces and outdoor recreation areas. In doing so, we are deliberately getting away from old building structures and outdated architectural concepts and are not trying to copy other companies. Instead, we are creating something unique and independent."

 

What makes the Siemens Campus Erlangen so special?

Thomas Braun: "In response, I would like to emphasize two aspects. For one, its openness which is a concept that Siemens embraces. It is evident just by looking at the Campus layout. However, it also continues in the building interiors with their open office layouts based on the Siemens Office Concept – which is, by the way, a concept which we have been consistently developing over the past 15 years and which has been successfully established internationally. The Campus will also underscore a new work culture and agile ways of working which are intended to motivate Siemens employees and inspire them to create more world-class innovations today and even more so going forward.

The second aspect I want to mention is sustainability, which was our main focus from day one when we planned the Campus. The Siemens Campus will be the first CO2-neutral Siemens site worldwide and support the company on the way to its goal of CO2 neutrality."

 

How has the Siemens Campus developed since the contest?

Thomas Braun: "Since the contest, we have steadily continued to develop and fine-tune the Campus.

In module 1, the parking garages will have top-quality façades which also met with the strong approval of the City of Erlangen’s Architecture Advisory Board. The outdoor recreation areas are designed for relaxation with a variety of seating options, large green spaces and many shade-giving trees.  To provide the entire district with a sustainable energy supply, we joined forces with Erlangen’s municipal utility to develop our own cogeneration plant.

In module 2, we will construct a reception building as a central on-campus point of contact for Siemens. With a Siemens reception area, an auditorium, a conference zone and food services, it will be a place for employees to meet and engage with one another.

In module 3, we will develop a laboratory building where Corporate Technology will conduct research. In a Living Lab, visitors can get a glimpse of current research activities at Siemens.

 

Digitalization has become an ever-present topic in business. What does this mean for the Campus?

Thomas Braun: "In terms of digitalization, you can look at the Campus from two vantage points. One, we are building the Campus based on the innovative process of Building Information Modeling, or BIM for short. This means that we first build the Campus digitally and then in reality. These digital models of all buildings simplify construction and will make operation later on more efficient and sustainable. And on a side note, our Campus app, which allows anyone to take a virtual tour of the premises even today, is based on data for the digital building models.

Digital and networked building technologies play an important part when it comes to buildings. As an example, we analyze building data in real time using Siemens products and applications so that we can operate the Siemens Campus as efficiently and sustainably as possible. We also focus on digitalized services which will make day-to-day work easier.

The Campus will also be a place where Siemens can develop its digital business models and products of the future."

 

What do you see as your biggest challenges in terms of the Campus project?

Thomas Braun: "Siemens Campus Erlangen is not a static project; it is alive and continuously developing. We are developing the Siemens Campus one module at a time, and this allows us to respond to changes over a period of about 15 years and make continuous improvements." We announced the project in 2013. Based on the master agreement with the State of Bavaria, the City of Erlangen and Siemens AG, we jointly held an architectural design contest and obtained building permits for the first two modules. Today, the first buildings of module 1 are going up and will be ready for occupancy in 2020. It has been very important to me right from the outset that people will experience a real campus feeling in only a few years, as soon as the first two modules have been completed. My personal challenge is to share my enthusiasm for the project with Siemens employees and the people of Erlangen. All of them have high expectations of the Campus – and we want to meet these expectations as a team."

Klaus Helmrich

Member of the Managing Board of Siemens
The Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology's new Center for the Humanities in the Himbeerpalast building and the expansion of the Faculty of Engineering on the Siemens Campus are major milestones that give a real boost to the area's credentials as a hotbed for science.

"The Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology's new Center for the Humanities in the Himbeerpalast building and the expansion of the Faculty of Engineering on the Siemens Campus are major milestones that give a real boost to the area's credentials as a hotbed for science. Erlangen, world-class research and high-tech leader Siemens are inextricably linked"

Joachim Herrmann

Bavarian State Minister of the Interior and for Integration
There has always been particularly close and successful collaboration between Siemens and academia in Erlangen.

"There has always been particularly close and successful collaboration between Siemens and academia in Erlangen and this most fruitful relationship is set to continue. The Siemens Campus underscores our commitment to Erlangen as a venue for business and science."

Florian Janik

Mayor of Erlangen
In the years to come, the Siemens Campus will have a strong impact on Erlangen that extends well beyond the southern part of the city."

"In the years to come, the Siemens Campus will have a strong impact on Erlangen that extends well beyond the southern part of the city. Now that we are ready to make specific plans, it's important to get the people of our city on board. Together, we can take advantage of the opportunities that the project and the winning design offer to enhance urban development and quality of life in Erlangen."

Joe Kaeser

CEO Siemens AG
We're building Siemens Campus Erlangen to provide a home to top researchers from all over the world.

"The reshaping of our business units into a modern campus in Erlangen is sending a clear signal of Siemens’ long-term direction in the Erlangen area. We're building Siemens Campus Erlangen to provide a home to top researchers from all over the world. When the political, business and scientific communities work hand in hand, that's the best investment in Germany's future as an innovation hub."

Horst Seehofer

Former Minister-President of Bavaria
Over the next 20 years, Erlangen will witness the construction of an ultramodern center of the future for the 21st century.

"A decision to build is a decision to stay – Siemens' clear commitment to Erlangen makes Northern Bavaria even more attractive as a business location and provides a strong impetus for our state's digitalization strategy. Already now, this Siemens Campus is sending a strong signal that reaches far beyond Bavaria and Germany. The digital future is at home in Bavaria."

Zsolt Sluitner

CEO of Siemens Real Estate
We want to create an environment that promotes collaboration, an environment with short distances, an innovative working landscape and an efficient infrastructure. In other words, an environment that supports the creativity and performance of employees in the company and helps them fully develop their individual skills and capabilities.

Zsolt Sluitner is the CEO of Siemens Real Estate. This corporate unit is responsible for all Siemens real estate activities.

With about 25,000 employees, Erlangen is the largest Siemens location worldwide. Why is the company investing so heavily in this particular location?


Over the past years and decades, Erlangen has proven its value to Siemens as a center of engineering competence and has contributed significantly to the innovative power of the company. To maintain and strengthen this innovative power even more going forward, the company must attract today’s best employees and the top talent of tomorrow. This requires a state-of-the-art working environment, an innovative and efficient infrastructure and close proximity to a scientific community. Today, this is true only to some extent; many units are spread over different buildings and many of them are older than 40 years and no longer meet today’s requirements in many respects


And what does this mean for the employees?

We want to create an environment that promotes collaboration, an environment with short distances, an innovative working landscape and an efficient infrastructure. In other words, an environment that supports the creativity and performance of employees in the company and helps them fully develop their individual skills and capabilities. A hotel and boarding house will accommodate international employees and increase the location’s appeal.

What do you think is the significance of the Campus for the City of Erlangen?
The Siemens Campus Erlangen is a very special project. Not only because it is the most extensive new construction project we have ever managed. But also because we are creating something here in Erlangen that will have a lasting positive impact both on the working environment of many thousands of Siemens employees and on the entire city. In addition, the Siemens Campus Erlangen is also a prime example of good collaboration with the city and its agencies.

How will this long-term project continue?
This project will indeed be with us for the coming years. An area of about 540,000 square meters in which currently about 8,000 Siemens employees are working cannot be planned, torn down and rebuilt overnight. We will move forward step by step and continue planning together with the local Siemens units. Construction is scheduled to begin by the end of 2016. We expect the first buildings on the site to the west of Günther-Scharowsky-Straße to be completed in 2018. At that time, we will all have a first impression of how the Siemens Campus Erlangen will look and feel one day.