This Call for Proposals (the "CfP") is sponsored by Siemens AG ("Siemens"), with its headquarters in Berlin and Munich. Siemens is a powerhouse in electrical engineering and electronics with significant expertise in the area of smart grid technology. Smart grid technology involves smart balancing of supply and demand by applying intelligent control mechanisms and storage technologies.
The CfP is designed to encourage university employees to engage in high-level research projects relating to smart grid technology with Siemens. It will be structured in three steps: (A) the registration step, (B) the qualification step and (C) the submission step, as more fully described below.
The CfP will begin on October 4, 2011 and will end on November 30, 2011, unless extended beyond this date by Siemens. Submissions for Steps A and B and C will be referred to as “Entries” for purposes of these Terms and Conditions. Entries submitted after the submission deadline will not be taken into consideration for the Smart Grid Innovation Contest. For details on the timeline of the Contest please consult the "Info" Page on the website.
Beginning on October 4, 2011, Siemens will publish research topic clusters relating to smart grid technology on the public pages of its Smart Grid CfP website, which will be hosted on a server of the service provider HYVE Innovation Community GmbH and will invite eligible participants to register on such web-site.
Registration Step, Step A of CfP
The registration step, Step A of the CfP, is open to employees of all universities world-wide. Each such participant shall be called a "Submitter" for purposes of these Terms and Conditions.
Submitters should be either university professors, PhD or post-doctoral students or other members of a university´s staff interested in conducting research relating to one or more of the published research topics.
All Submitters must be age 18 or older (i.e., majority age in participant´s country of residence governs) on the date on which the Submitter registers for the CfP. Siemens reserves the right to verify the eligibility of Submitters and check their identities.
Submitters are entitled to register at the following website: http://www.smartgridcontest.com/university. After having confirmed that he/she has read and agrees to be bound by these Terms and Conditions, Submitter will be required to provide the information requested. All Submitters must select a password to allow their access to the CfP website.
A Submitter may end his or her participation in the CfP at any time by sending a brief e-mail notification to HYVE Innovation Community GmbH at email@example.com. Termination of the participation shall not affect any rights or obligations incurred prior to the date of termination.
No purchase of any product or service of SIEMENS or any third party is required for participation in the CfP.
No Submitter is entitled to use the SIEMENS name or any SIEMENS trademark or service mark as a result of his/her participation in the CfP.
The registration, qualification and submission steps are supported by a user-friendly submission procedure. For further information with regard to the submission procedure please see the "Info" Page on the website.
Siemens will delete Entries which:
a) contain inappropriate or unlawful content or research proposals which do not comply with export control restrictions;
b) infringe intellectual property rights or misappropriate trade secrets or confidential information of third parties;
c) contain viruses, worms, corrupted files, cracks or other materials that are intended to or may damage or render inoperable software, hardware or security measures of SIEMENS or HYVE Innovation Community GmbH and/or any other third party;
Entries may only be submitted by individuals employed by the university. If the submitted Entry is a joint effort of several individuals from a single university, the submitting individual will represent the interests of all contributors to the Entry vis-à-vis Siemens. Joint submission from individuals employed by different universities is not permitted.
Entries which are incomplete, defaced or damaged will be deemed invalid.
Submitters agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions when entering the CfP. Failure to agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions will prevent a Submitter from participating. Non-compliance with these Terms and Conditions shall result in the disqualification of the Submitter. Submitters furthermore agree to abide by SIEMENS' decisions, which are final and binding. The details of evaluation of the proposals will not be published. SIEMENS is not obliged to respond to any correspondence received from Submitters.
Siemens Smart Grid experts will evaluate the Entries. Please consult the “Info” Page on the website with regard to the selection criteria.
After successfully completing Step A of the CfP, the Submitter will obtain access to the research topic cluster description relating to the selected research topic cluster. The Submitter can indicate that he/she is interested in qualifying to see the research question and – if the Submitter desires - to submit a research proposal with respect to this specific research topic cluster.
The Submitter will then be requested to qualify for such research topic cluster by providing information about his/her university and his/her idea for a research proposal (Idea Proposal, max 500 words).
Submission Step, Step C of the CfP
After Siemens has reviewed the Entries submitted in Step B, it will provide access to a secure collaboration platform to those Submitters whom Siemens would like to participate in the third Step of the CfP -- the Submission Step.
In Step C, the Submitters selected will obtain access to detailed research questions which will address an area of research in great detail. Siemens will reveal such detailed research questions only after the university employing the Submitter has signed an NDA, which Siemens will provide to it.
Given the confidential nature of the detailed research questions, Siemens will only exchange information with Submitters in Step C via a secure collaboration platform, called Wiki, which permits Siemens and Submitter to exchange information in encrypted form. Access to the Wiki will only be provided after Siemens has received a signed NDA from the university.
After Submitter has reviewed the detailed research question, he/she will be asked to submit a research proposal, by addressing the following issues: detailed empirical approach and procedure; cost planning, project milestones; related existing research work; details of former or current industry collaborations; literature review; review of IPR status (i.e., what IPRs are necessary to perform this project? How will Submitter ensure that it is entitled to use such IPRs? Has Submitter or the university employing the Submitter filed for patent protection for any of the inventions contained in his/her proposal?).
This research proposal can be improved and modified by Submitter at any time up to and including November 30, 2011. Responses to modification requests from Siemens may also be submitted after November 30, 2011, as long as a detailed research proposal was first submitted on or before such date.
Submitters whose proposals are selected by Siemens after successful conclusion of Step C will be invited to negotiate a contract research agreement on behalf of its university or PhD agreement with Siemens. Typically, Siemens will expect to get ownership interests in the results of the research cooperation. To the extent that Submitter is not entitled to negotiate on behalf of his/her university, Submitter shall ensure that an authorized university representative participates in such negotiations. For the avoidance of doubt, the university will generally be the contracting party in any such agreement. An exception to this general rule shall be contracts entered directly between PhD candidates and Siemens, to the extent that the university has approved such agreement. To the extent a master research agreement already exists between Siemens and the applicable university, such master research agreement shall govern the relationship between Siemens and the university.
Submitter acknowledges that Siemens may either itself create or obtain research proposals from other participants that may be similar to Submitter´s Entry. Submitter hereby waives any and all claims that he or she may have as a result of the fact that proposals accepted, reviewed and/or used by Siemens or proposals which are already known to Siemens are similar to Submitter's Entry.
Successful Submitters will obtain the consent of the university to allow Siemens to publish the name of the university in communications involving the CfP, if Siemens should choose to do so.
During the CfP, the Entries of the Submitters will only be visible to selected Siemens employees; Entries will be treated with reasonable care by Siemens.
The university is requested to treat all communication between Siemens and the university on the CfP web page as confidential information.
The collection and storage of personal information for the purposes of the CfP will be conducted in accordance with all applicable data protection laws of the Federal Republic of Germany and the EU-Directive for Data Protection.
Representations and Warranties
The Submitter represents and warrants that his/her Entry contains only original ideas of the Submitter.
The Submitter represents and warrants that he/she has the authorization of his/her university to participate in the CfP.
Siemens is not responsible for Entries not received due to lost, failed, delayed or interrupted connections or miscommunications or other electronic malfunctions. Siemens is not responsible for incorrect or inaccurate Entry information, whether caused by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the CfP or by any human error which may occur in the processing of the entries in this CfP.
The CfP web site may contain links and references to the web pages of third parties. Siemens shall have no liability for the content of such web pages and does not make representations about or endorse such web pages or their contents as its own, as Siemens does not have control over the information or contents on such web pages. Neither shall Siemens be liable for the quality, correctness or completeness of any third party information expressly provided on the CfP web site as third party information, including any information supplied by any of the sales partners.
The execution of the CfP and the interpretation and enforcement of these Terms and Conditions shall be exclusively governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the Federal Republic of Germany. Any conflict regarding the CfP or the Terms and Conditions shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Siemens reserves the right to modify these Terms and Conditions at any time, without advance warning or notice, and/or to suspend, withdraw or cancel the CfP for any reason and at any time, without incurring any liability. Siemens furthermore reserves the right to exclude at any time a Submitter who is not willing to abide by these Terms and Conditions, without incurring any liability for such exclusion.