“We need to keep building the foundations of future achievements in the present”

BME and Siemens have been working together for 20 years to support the engineers of the future. The partners have now reinforced their alliance.

“Without these strong, mutual industrial partnerships, the Budapest University of Technology and Economics would not be the steadfastly developing institution we desire and can be proud of. Siemens has been supporting this effort as a key partner for two decades now in a variety of research and development fields and over the entire spectrum of our education programmes, from BSc to PhD. While our joint achievements speak for themselves, we have to continue to work hard for future success in the present. This entails the maintenance and broadening of our relations as well as our joint innovation activities to develop new technologies and methods,” János Józsa, BME’s rector stressed in his opening address at the signing ceremony of the agreement renewing the cooperation between BME and the electronics company. He added that the 20-year anniversary represents the best age when the transition from youth into an older and more experienced phase happens.

From the many key achievements of the partnership, the academic highlighted the research and development initiatives and laboratory developments of BME FIEK (Centre for Higher Education and Industry Cooperation) allowing – for instance – the involvement of BME’s professionals in the development of an electrically powered aircraft. At the end of his speech, the university’s senior official expressed his hope for this fruitful cooperation to continue smoothly in the future.

Guests at the signing ceremony included László Palkovics, state secretary for education, and representatives from the corporate sector and the university.

“In today’s fast-paced world, it is fairly uncommon for two organisations to continuously work together for two decades. This is why the partnership with the university is so significant as, through high quality education and the provision of professional support for talented students, we jointly create value for the students, the institution, the domestic industry and Hungary as well,” stressed Dale A. Martin, CEO and president of Siemens Zrt. who signed the agreement on behalf of his company.

Mr. Martin said that their mutual, well-grounded professional cooperation covers three areas: Siemens and BME started a dual engineering MSc programme accredited by the Office of Education two years ago, which was the first in Hungary. The programme is designed to offer students not only the theoretical knowledge taught by the university but also practical experience through working at Siemens, meeting the requirements of the labour market, to promote their successful labour market participation while evosoft Hungary ltd., a company of the Siemens Group is one of the largest employers of IT engineers graduating from BME.

The other large scale project is linked to the development of the driving system of the Magnus eFusion electric aircraft, in which BME plays a key role.The third area – also establishing a long term partnership – is the creation of BME FIEK (Centre for Higher Education and Industry Cooperation) mentioned by BME’s rector, supported by four large corporations including Siemens.

The success of the cooperation between BME and Siemens which started in 1999 is not only reflected by its span of two decades but also by the effective projects their partnership has yielded in this period. The results achieved by supported student initiatives at international competitions are also a matter for pride including the Solar Decathlon Europe 2012 innovation competition where the solar house designed by BME’s students finished in the top three in three different categories.

Siemens continues to support BME’s work in 2018: a student competition will be shortly announced that will be the basis of funding this year given to the most fascinating technical and creative ideas linked to electric planes and flight. Siemens also offers infrastructural support to university and student projects, promoting better access for students to internships and employment and continues to support university publications, innovative student ideas and programmes.

At the signing ceremony Joe Kaeser, Siemens AG’s global president and CEO gave a speech on the impact of digital transformation and the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) on society. Reviewing Siemens’ history and its relationship with Hungary, Mr. Kaeser said that his company has always been at the forefront of change including the time when the internet changed from a limited use resource into a giant apparatus affecting every aspect of everyday life. He said that “the world wide web has changed the way we think about geography, the way countries work and has become key in other areas such as manufacturing.

Digital tools now allow the modelling and monitoring of the entire process of product development leading to immense improvements in efficiency and have by now become available not only to large corporations.” He reminded us that “Industry 4.0 cannot be avoided but the transformation will require a revolution in the field of education as well” adding that Siemens Group spends EUR 500 million on education and further training globally every year. Turning to the teachers, researchers and students sitting in the room, he said that corporations and representatives of the academia are equally responsible for ensuring that the fourth industrial revolution creates a better world for all.


Photo: János Philip