Dr. Hermann Requardt (Head of Corporate Technology, Siemens Managing Board) gave a talk at KAUST today entitled "Open Innovation." I attended expecting some discussion about research, but Dr. Requardt's talk only gave a brief head-nod to technological topics. The meat of his presentation was laced with Euro amounts and statistics flaunting Siemens' business, pretty much a sales-pitch to the KAUST directors who were sitting in the room.
The implications of Dr. Requardt's talk, and the fact that such a high level manager was visiting in the first place, is that Siemens wants to pursue a closer business relationship with KAUST. Not only will KAUST be center for innovation and research in the region, Siemens sees KAUST as a potential gateway for more business access to this region of the world.
It is exciting to see people like Dr. Requardt courting KAUST. Selfishly, I hope that visits like these translate into more job opportunities for us, the students once we graduate.