Welcome to the SIEMENS SMART GRID INNOVATION CONTEST – Call for Proposals for universities only.

Siemens aims at cooperating with the most suited universities on specific research topic clusters in the field of Smart Grid. Thus, with the CALL FOR PROPOSALS Siemens wishes to find the universities which fit best to Siemens' interests, expand / stabilize Siemens' network with top universities worldwide, focus on current Research Topics and also identify top PhD students.

Siemens addresses herewith university staff (i.e. professors, post-docs, PhD students) and wants to get in touch with the world’s top researchers in order to find out about their research expertise and jointly speed up open innovation. University employees can qualify with their research expertise and research ideas in order to answer Siemens’ research question with full research proposals for cooperation.

Siemens has planned a significant budget in order to run research on the selected topics. Siemens also aims to translate the research results into products, services and solutions and is therefore planning additional investments after successful results in the research topics.

The following topics provide you with detailed information about the contest:

What is the Siemens Smart Grid Innovation Contest - Call for Proposals about?

In 2005 the European Union adopted the "Smart Grid" concept - a vision of intelligent, flexibly controllable electrical generation, distribution and consumption. Today Siemens globally provides technologies for this market and has demonstrated its capabilities in various projects. The breakthrough of Smart Grid applications strongly depends on attractive business models which combine the technologies and economic benefits for all stakeholders.

With its Call for Proposals Siemens pursues an innovative approach to identify best in class universities worldwide who want to qualify for cooperation with Siemens in selected and predefined Smart Grid research topics.

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Registration at the Smart Grid Innovation Contest - CALL FOR PROPOSALS

In order to actively participate in the SIEMENS SMART GRID INNOVATION CONTEST – CALL FOR PROPOSALS, you are invited to register with just a few clicks. As a registered university user you can see the research topic cluster description and access the qualification phase.

For registration, you must take the following mandatory steps:

  1. Login information with university e-mail address
  2. Information on the university
  3. First Name and Family Name
  4. Agreement with the Terms and Conditions of the Call for Proposals

To finalize your registration, you must agree to the Terms and Conditions of the Call for Proposals. The Terms and Conditions of the Idea Contest are different and do not apply to the Call for Proposals, thus registered participants of the Idea Contest need to update their registration.

After having finalized the registration phase you are able to view the research topic cluster descriptions. Should a registered university user be interested to submit a proposal, for one of the research topic clusters, the university user will need to request its Qualification for this research topic cluster by entering a proposal idea (max. 500 words) and the main research activities.

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Qualification in the Smart Grid Innovation Contest - Call for Proposal

A Request for Qualification will usually be done only for one of the research topic clusters. In case a university wants to qualify for more than one research topic cluster, each Request for Qualification has to be done separately.

Siemens aims to keep the application process as easy and less time-consuming, as possible. The time and effort of university researchers is valuable to Siemens. Thus, university users are kindly asked to write a short qualification. This will allow the Siemens Research Experts to select the most appropriate universities before entering into the more time consuming process of signing an NDA and submitting the full research proposal. Only universities with outstanding qualifications that are in line with the Siemens strategy will be admitted into the confidential area and will get access to the detailed research question.

For qualification, you must enter information on the following topics:

  1. Researcher
  2. Title of Proposal
  3. Idea of research cooperation with Siemens
  4. Fields of Excellence
  5. University infrastructure / assets for research
  6. Why should Siemens select you for collaboration?
  7. Link to CV of researcher
  8. Name of organization which would be the contracting party of the research cooperation and name of the Head of Department
  9. Optional: Upload Key-Visuals of the proposal

The submitter shall verify the fulfilment of the following criteria:

  1. Innovativeness
  2. Business Impact(3-5 years)
  3. Sustainability and relevance for society
  4. Unique selling proposition

The submitter will receive an "accept" or "deny" answer by the Siemens' Research Topic Responsible. In the successful case that the submitter gets accepted to access the secure Siemens collaboration Wiki containing the detailed Research Question, the submitter will receive an NDA to be appropriately signed by the submitter's university and sent:

via fax to +49 86 636 46655
via postmail to:

Siemens Chief Technology Office
University and Research Cooperation
Ms. Ilaria Carrara Cagni
Otto-Hahn-Ring, 6 – 81739 München - Germany

Given the confidential nature of the detailed research questions, Siemens will only exchange information with Submitters in the Submission Step via a secure collaboration platform, called Wiki, which permits selected experts and managers from Siemens and Submitter to exchange information in encrypted form. Access to the Wiki will only be given after Siemens has received a signed NDA.

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Proposal submission

Proposals to the detailed research questions must contain the following:
  • Detailed elaboration of proposal
  • Cost planning (possibility of uploading file)
  • Project milestones (possibility of uploading file)
  • Further information (e.g. existing work)
  • Collaboration (Have you already collaborated with Siemens? If yes, on which topics? Reference at Siemens?)
  • Picture / Key visual
  • Literature review and empirical approach (possibility of uploading file)
  • Information regarding Intellectual Property Rights (Do you have access to the necessary IPRs for this project? If yes, which ones? Do you have a patent filing in process in relation with this project?)
  • If existing: specify connection to idea from the Idea Contest

The submitted proposal can be improved and modified by the submitter any time until the 30.11.2011. It is therefore important for the submitter to input their proposals as soon as possible in order to benefit from the conversation with the Siemens Research Topic Responsible. Siemens is entitled, in exceptional cases, to continue the communication on promising proposals with the submitter on the secure Siemens collaboration Wiki. In that case, the submitter will be able to modify and improve the proposal also after the 30.11.2011.

If you are invited to more than one research topic cluster, then you can of course submit more than one proposal. The submitter will be personally selected for each of the research topic clusters by the corresponding Research Topic Responsible of Siemens due to the experience and expertise on the research topic. It might be that the proposal idea does not match with the detailed research question. In this case the submitter is free to decide – after viewing the detailed research question - whether the submitter is interested or not to submit a full research proposal relative to the detailed research question. If yes, the submitter proceeds and enters the proposal for research collaboration with the university. If not, the submitter can enter at the corresponding proposal page: "I am not interested to submit a proposal".

In exceptional cases, if the proposal idea entered during the qualification phase qualifies as particularly interesting by the Research Topic Responsible, but it does not match the detailed research question, the submitter may get accepted to access a so-called "White Space" on Wiki for entering an open proposal for collaboration. The view to the White Space will allow to also see the relative detailed Research Question.

If a proposal idea does not get selected, it means that it did not fit to the Siemens research strategy. It does not mean that the proposal idea is not good enough. It might be that Siemens will contact the submitter in the future in case of change in the Siemens research strategy. Siemens wants to avoid that submitters invest a lot of effort to submit a full proposal which is not in line with the Siemens strategy and thus has no chance to get selected for collaboration.

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Research cooperation types:

The CALL FOR PROPOSALS foresees research projects between Siemens and universities of two different kinds:

  1. Contract research projects
  2. Siemens contracts universities to conduct a research project with predefined goals. Siemens bears the costs of research and usually expects ownership of all results.
  3. PhD research project
  4. The PhD project can run either at the university or at a Siemens site. If the PhD student works on his project at the university, Siemens pays the university to do research in a certain field via the PhD student. If the PhD student works at a Siemens site, the contract runs between Siemens and the PhD student.

Additionally, Siemens may consider some Entries mature enough for a start-up seed financing.

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Research proposal evaluation and selection

The Research Topic Responsible and Siemens Expert Researchers will review the research proposals in order to decide which proposal shall be selected for research cooperation.

The selection of proposals will consider following criteria:
  • Innovativeness
  • Business Impact (3-5 years)
  • Fit to Siemens innovation strategy and technology
  • Suitable project planning (cost structure, milestones, quality of elaboration, reasonable project planning)
  • Sustainability and relevance for society
  • Unique selling proposition

The Research Topic Responsible will contact the selected submitters who will enter the final close-pitch selection. After the final selection Siemens will enter into negotiations with the university with a contract template.

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The Call for Proposals will be published on October 4, 2011 and the Proposals can be submitted from October 4 until November 30, 2011. Siemens aims at completing the selection phase of the universities by the 1st quarter of 2012.

Who organizes this contest?

The Siemens Smart Grid Innovation Contest (both the Idea Contest and the Call for Proposal) is organized by the Siemens Smart Grid Division in cooperation with Siemens' Chief Technology Office (Open Innovation and University & Research Cooperation). Siemens aims to foster its university research network and invites you to be part of this open innovation approach. back to top

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