CEDA member profile: Siemens



Jeff Connolly, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Siemens Group, Australia Pacific 

Can you tell us a little about what Siemens does in Australia?

Siemens is a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for 170 years across the world and in Australia for 145 years. You will find Siemens automation, electrification and digitalisation technology in everything from the lane change control systems on the Sydney Harbour Bridge through to energy efficiency at the MCG and even hi-tech simulation equipment used to help protect the Great Barrier Reef.

Significant industries ranging from oil and gas to mining, roads and rail, food and beverage, manufacturing, buildings and construction, pharmaceuticals, water and energy utilities all rely on Siemens technologies.

Siemens actively supports local industry, governments and stakeholders to understand and prepare for key changes such as the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0), the transition to "intelligent infrastructure" and the transition to a "sustainable energy" future.
With a global view on the trends and changes affecting Australia, Siemens is driving change in preparation for the fourth industrial revolution through the Prime Minister’s Industry 4.0 Taskforce and through the introduction of the first Industry 4.0 apprenticeship program in partnership with Swinburne University and the Australian Industry Group.

What are the top priorities for Siemens over the coming year?

At a time of unprecedented demand on cities and transportation networks as a result of factors such as population growth and urbanisation, one of the core focus areas for governments, analysts and companies is on making cities more sustainable.

Two top priorities for Siemens are smart cities and infrastructure – enabling both through the use of smart technology that helps us get better value out of current assets and investments and helping create new assets designed for the future. The solution is to use data to make our cities smarter, and thereby more liveable. Data that helps people move better and helps our cities get ahead in the race to attract talent and investment.

Another key priority is to help progress the energy transition to a more sustainable value proposition that sets the nation up for future domestic growth and explores new export capabilities. 

Why is Siemens a member of CEDA?

CEDA is a great platform to share and discuss important thought leadership topics. There is a lot more to being a successful company than just selling things. This includes how we contribute to the debate and direction on many topics that impact Australia.

As a global and a local company we can bring a unique perspective to many different topics. What does the future of manufacturing and industry look like? What does the energy transition look like in other countries and what roles can technology play in that? How is digitalisation impacting business? What will the future of cities and infrastructure look like including transport systems, buildings, energy and water supplies and more? How will developments in healthcare technology impact our quality of life?

These are all areas where Siemens has a global leadership role and we are uniquely positioned to add value to the conversations, debates and policy directions being discussed in Australia.

Throughout your experience with CEDA, what have you enjoyed the most?

CEDA provides great networking opportunities and connections. It’s a good neutral environment to get to know people that we otherwise may not connect with. Through our key sponsorships we find ourselves at the table with the highest calibre of politicians through to leaders of many of Australia’s most important businesses. But it’s the side conversations around the table and the discussions before and after the events that also provide a lot of value and opportunity to meet new people and build new relationships.

Do you have a favourite CEDA speaker or event that you’ve enjoyed?

I’ve particularly enjoyed some of the global experts that Siemens has brought out to speak at CEDA events. Siemens operates in over 200 countries, so it’s great to hear global perspectives on local topics. Sometimes it’s easy to think that Australia’s circumstances are unique until you hear from someone who puts global context onto a topic. You see the interest levels in the room go up like a light bulb moment for many. In the last year for example we’ve had our Chief Technology Officer Roland Busch discussing the future of cities, our global energy expert Professor Michael Weinhold talking about the energy transition including the potential for hydrogen from renewables and even global board member Janina Kugel discussing the importance of diversity. I also really value hearing from our political leaders such as Prime Minister the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull at the State of the Nation in Canberra as well as each of our state premiers in the State of the State events.