German engineering giant Siemens pledges long-term commitment to London

Siemens, one of the world’s largest engineering and technology companies has today reaffirmed the company’s long-term commitment to London, despite the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. This follows the announcement that German’s biggest lender, Deutsche Bank, has given London a further vote of confidence by agreeing a long-term lease on a new UK headquarters in London following Brexit. 

Big Ben skyline

Speaking at an event in Berlin to promote greater trade links between London and Germany, Juergen Maier, CEO of Siemens UK will emphasise the importance of London and the UK as a leading market for Siemens and the opportunities for collaboration on talent and investment.

The German engineering giant is a major investor into London and currently employs over 15,000 people across the UK. Siemens has played a crucial role in the Thameslink and Crossrail projects and is set to deliver over 1,400 commuter rail carriages in London in the coming years. Siemens has also based its global centre of competence for sustainable city technology at the Crystal, a £30m investment by Siemens and a landmark building and visitor centre in Royal Victoria Dock.

Since the EU referendum vote, other leading global companies have announced commitments to London. Google has put forward a £1 billion investment plan for a new headquarters in King’s Cross, Facebook announced an additional 500 jobs for London and Apple revealed its plans for new headquarters in Battersea. Earlier this year Snap Inc – owners of Snapchat, announced it will open an international hub in London, while Amazon announced the creation of new jobs and the opening of a new London HQ in 2017.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London is the world’s greatest commercial centre but retaining our place at the top is always tough. This commitment by Siemens helps send the message loud and clear that London remains open to talent, investment and ideas. Our connections on the continent have never been more important and, regardless of Brexit, we will continue to work closely together to our mutual benefit.”

Juergen Maier, CEO of Siemens UK, added: “London and the UK remains an important market for Siemens and is a good place to do business. While the exact terms of the UK’s exit from the European Union are unclear, we are committed to London in the long-term. We will continue to apply our expertise in technology and engineering to the challenges that face cities, particularly urban transit and air quality. London remains a leading centre for innovation and technology and we see many opportunities for collaboration on talent, digitalisation and investment in the years ahead.”

At today’s event, London’s Deputy Mayor for Business Rajesh Agrawal will also highlight the opportunities for stronger collaboration between London and Berlin’s technology and life sciences sectors and reveal the findings of new research which shows that London and Berlin are Europe’s two leading cities for technology investment. According to data published by London & Partners, the Mayor of London’s promotional agency, London tech firms have raised £5.4 billion since 2011, while Berlin tech companies have raised £3.3 billion – significantly more than any other European tech hub including Paris, Dublin and Amsterdam1.

Further analysis shows that the UK’s tech sector is continuing to attract investment following the EU referendum vote with UK tech firms attracting over £1.5 billion in venture capital investment, with London companies receiving over £1 billion2

The research findings show that London and Berlin’s thriving tech and life sciences clusters are fuelling the growth of their national economies – the data reveals that Germany and the UK are Europe’s two leading countries for technology and life sciences investment. London’s tech companies attracted almost two thirds of all venture capital investment (£8 billion) into the UK tech sector in the past five years, while Berlin’s tech companies received almost 70 per cent the total £4.8 billion raised by German tech companies since 2011.

With access to world-class universities and research facilities, London and Berlin’s strengths in life sciences have helped the UK and Germany to cement their position as Europe’s two leading destinations for life sciences investment. According to the research, the UK’s life sciences sector has attracted £2.4 billion in venture capital investment over the last five years, while Germany’s life sciences companies have raised a total of £1 billion – both more than any other European country.

Sarah Haywood, CEO at MedCity said: “London and Berlin’s thriving life sciences and digital health ecosystems, made up from leading universities, research institutes and companies, make us a natural partnership for scientific innovation.  Berlin and London are destinations of choice for global pharma players and we have a shared passion to get discoveries from the lab to people quickly. With emerging strengths in areas such as genomics and digital health, I’m excited to see what the future holds for our two capital cities. Together, we can transform healthcare by delivering better, faster, more innovative solutions to society’s health problems.”

Philipp Hartmann, Principal at Index Ventures added: “The success of a tech ecosystem depends primarily on the availability of talent, so it is no surprise that Berlin and London have become the leading tech hubs in Europe.  Very few European capitals have managed to become a magnet for the best founders and operators from all around the world in the way these two cities have done.  The most ambitious and talented people have been drawn to them because they are exciting, welcoming, entrepreneurial and constantly changing – always offering opportunities to try new things. Building a closer link between Berlin and London will benefit both capitals.”

A trade delegation of 15 of London’s fastest growing technology and life sciences companies will accompany the Deputy Mayor on his visit to Berlin. The trade mission, organised by the Mayor’s International Business Programme (MIBP), is designed to support high-growth companies to expand and export across Germany.

StepJockey, a digital health start-up also accompanying the Deputy Mayor on his Berlin visit, will announce a new distribution partnership with the German corporate wellness provider Aktivita, as part of the London company’s drive to grow its presence in Germany. StepJockey’s IoT technology boosts health, productivity and sustainability in the workplace by nudging and rewarding office workers to ditch the lift and use the stairs. StepJockey is now used in over 12,000 buildings in over 100 countries across the world.

Also joining the Deputy Mayor on the MIBP trade mission, is the London based property technology start-up WiredScore, who provides digital connectivity ratings to the real estate sector. The certification allows landlords, property agents and tenants means of articulating the strengths of a building’s connectivity. With 350 million sq ft of buildings already committed to certification globally, WiredScore is looking at expanding in Germany further in the year ahead. William Newton, WiredScore EMEA Director said:“London and Berlin are world-class hubs for technology and innovation, and the commercial real estate sector in each city is thriving. We see expansion into Germany as a great opportunity and natural fit to our growing business internationally. London has served as a great base for us to grow our business into other European markets and with the support of the Mayor’s International Business Programme, we are excited to explore the new opportunities that the Mayor’s trade mission will bring.”

London also remains an attractive destination for German businesses looking to expand into the UK market, with fDi Market Intelligence data showing that Germany is the third largest European market for foreign direct investment into London.

At the event the Deputy Mayor will also urge Germany’s businesses to follow the lead of a number of Berlin tech companies that have already established a presence in London including online-streaming music service SoundCloud, ecommerce fashion retailer Zolando and web-based fresh food delivery service, Hello Fresh.

IT consultancy and social enterprise Auticon has today announced it will double its London headcount by the end of 2017, creating an additional 20 jobs for its London office. Auticon exclusively employs autistic people as IT consultants and applies their unique cognitive strengths in complex client projects. The company was founded in Berlin in 2011 and launched its UK operations February 2016. Auticon now has more than 120 employees and offices in nine locations across the UK, Germany and France. 

Auticon UK CEO Ray Coyle said: “London is Europe’s leading tech hub and the demand for analytic thinkers is high. We’re seeing a great demand for the cognitive skills of our autistic consultants. London is a key market for our business and we look forward to contributing towards London’s increasingly diverse tech workforce. 

To coincide with the Mayor’s visit to the WeWork Sony Centre in Berlin, WeWork today announced that the UK’s entrepreneurs and SMEs will be able to join Berlin businesses in applying for up to $20 million in funding through its global Creator Awards. WeWork is already a leading supporter of both London’s and Berlin’s start-up communities with over 15,000 members across both cities in 12 collaborative workspaces in London and two in Berlin.

Adam Neumann, Co-founder and CEO of WeWork said:“The United Kingdom is full of entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and small business owners who are innovating, nurturing their communities and inspiring others with work fuelled by passion and purpose. Each one of them is a creator. Bringing the Creator Awards programme to London is our way of supporting the growth and continued success of the UK’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. We want to recognise, reward and financially support the brightest new ideas and best organizations coming out of the UK, as well as connect UK-based innovators with creators from all over the world.”