Sheffield University and Siemens launch revolutionary business centre

Juergen Maier, CEO of Siemens UK and Sir Keith Burnett at the launch of the MindSphere Lounge at the Diamond.
Juergen Maier, CEO of Siemens UK and Sir Keith Burnett at the launch of the MindSphere Lounge at the Diamond.

The fourth industrial revolution is happening - here’s how to take advantage of it.

That was the message from industrial powerhouse Siemens and Sheffield University at the launch of an advice centre for firms to get to grips with technology.

Juergen Maier, chief executive of Siemens UK, and vice chancellor Sir Keith Burnett launched the MindSphere Lounge at The Diamond engineering block - and hailed it the first of its kind in the UK.

MindSphere staff aim to show how to harness data produced by business, Siemens and the university.

Adam Cartwright, Siemens head of open innovation, said it could help a manufacturer link a CNC machine up to the cloud and analyse data to work out when it would fail, or increase productivity through better scheduling.

It could also help firms receive data from a product they sell so they could offer services throughout its life.

“MindSphere is for any business in Sheffield that wants to put data in the cloud and analyse it, and understand the capabilities of Siemens and the university.”

The service costs £150-a-month, he added.

Juergen Maier said technology would ‘displace’ jobs but he insisted firms that engaged with it would create more.

He added: “The worst thing you can possibly do is not engage. This is the start of a data-led industrial revolution - the best thing is to be in at the start.

“In every industrial revolution technology has created more jobs.

“It’s the most exciting time in my 31 years in industry. I’ve been waiting for the nation to realise we need to be a nation of makers and creators to correct the huge trade imbalance and create more wealth. Well-paid jobs are vital. The only thing that will create them is the creation and export of things.

“MindSphere is a big opportunity for people to focus on areas that will drive jobs.”

Sir Keith Burnett said: “The digital revolution is transforming all parts of society, including industry, so it is vital that students and academics grasp the potential for data to fundamentally change the way we approach problems and opportunities.”