Siemens again pushed its power of innovation to new heights in fiscal 2012. The number of invention disclosures exceeded the prior-year figure by five percent, rising to more than 8,900 inventions or about 41 per workday. Today, each of the company's roughly 29,500 R&D employees discloses an average of more than twice as many inventions as ten years ago. As a result, the number of first patent filings in fiscal 2012 rose seven percent year-over-year, to approximately 4,600 or nearly 21 per workday. Siemens' patent portfolio now comprises 57,300 patents, as compared to 53,800 a year earlier. Of the current total, some 20,200 are patents for ecofriendly offerings from the company's Environmental Portfolio, which comprises highly energy-efficient products and solutions, renewable energies and environmental technologies. In fiscal 2012, Siemens generated revenue of €33.2 billion with its Environmental Portfolio – outpacing overall revenue growth at Siemens with this ten-percent year-over-year increase. Siemens' Chief Technology Officer, Klaus Helmrich, notes, "Even in economically challenging times, we're completely embracing research and development. Our innovations and pioneering spirit have always been the basis for our success at Siemens."
The twelve Inventors of the Year 2012, two of whom are women, are working in Germany as well as in Denmark and the U.S. Their patents have served as springboards for numerous innovations, such as products that enhance the efficiency of industrial production and power generation or improve medical diagnostics. Offerings developed on the basis of the prizewinners' innovations include a system that improves the quality of special computed tomography images and innovative luminescent coatings for X-ray equipment which increase the light input – with the goal to reduce patient exposure to radiation. For wind power installations, the inventors have developed special serrated components known as "Dino Tails" which are attached to the trailing edge of turbine rotor blades, making the turbines quieter and increases their energy production. And for combined cycle power plants, they've developed a process that enables operators to ramp up electricity production within seconds and maintain this level of power generation for a specified time.
Siemens introduced its annual Inventors of the Year award in 1995 to honor the organization's outstanding researchers and developers, whose inventions make major contributions to the company's success.