With 2,135 patent applications, Siemens ranked Number 1 in the European Patent Office's current patent statistics (calendar year 2010) for the first time in its history, outpacing Philips, BASF and Samsung. "In Germany and Europe combined, we increased our initial patent applications by
18 percent year-over-year," said Klaus Helmrich, member of Siemens' Managing Board and Chief Technology Officer of Siemens AG. "Siemens' R&D employees are also more innovative than ever at the global level. On average, they're now reporting twice as many inventions per R&D employee as in 2001."
The twelve Inventors of the Year for 2011 hail from Germany (Berlin, Erlangen, Munich and Nuremberg), Denmark, Switzerland and the U.S. Because of their patents, a host of innovative products are now making industry more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. For example, some of the new products are making the conversion of seawater into drinking water much more energy-efficient, others are increasing the lifetimes of wind turbines, and still others are enhancing the effectiveness of motors and power plants. Thanks to innovative software architecture, new products are also reducing resource consumption in industrial production by facilitating the design of complex automation systems. And in the healthcare area, an innovation created by one of the award winners is making it easier to diagnose strokes: the new technology can improve the quality of MRI images in such a way that physicians can detect the extent of brain damage and identify brain tissue that can be saved.
"With every idea, every invention and every patent, our researchers and developers are laying another cornerstone for our continued growth," said Peter Löscher. "Pioneering spirit is our lifeblood – we need people like these who want to make a difference, who are committed and creative, who break new ground and who search for and find answers to the toughest questions of our time."
Siemens has been presenting the Inventor of the Year Award to the outstanding researchers and developers who make major contributions to its success every year since 1995.