»Our German roots are of great importance«
Berlin competes with tech cities all around the world. Cedrik Neike, member of the board of Siemens AG, discusses Berlin’s perks and why talents should consider Germany over Silicon Valley.
Mr. Neike, what exactly are your plans in Berlin?
The basic idea is that we want to show what the future of work might look like. That’s why we looked all around the world for possible locations and finally settled on Berlin. After all, Siemens was founded here 171 years ago. We want to create something new: an open campus where research, teaching, and production can take place.
What gave Berlin the edge over the other global locations you were considering?
We had enquiries from all over the world. In addition to our historical roots, the fact that we already have six plants and existing partnerships that we can expand here tipped the scales. Berlin is dynamic and inventive. A third of the start-ups in Germany are based in the city. Furthermore, we were looking for a tolerant and open-minded city because we want to create an open campus.
Many cities share those characteristics. Why choose Germany specifically?
The fourth industrial revolution, Industrie 4.0, and the Energiewende (energy transition) are already taking place in Europe. We want to combine research and production in one location. Also, our German roots are of great importance in an international context. When I travel in Asia, the perception of “Made in Germany” is very strong. We want to maintain this, strengthen it and develop it further on a new platform.
Is it easy to attract top talent for a job in Berlin?
Germany is quite strong in research, especially in mechanical engineering, energy and medical technology, in industrial automation and in mobility. However, many talented people are still drawn to Silicon Valley. We want to create an environment for them in Berlin in which they would like to do research and come up with big ideas.