Companies Exhibit At The Light And Building Architecture And Technology Fair
Photograph by Ralph Orlowski — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Siemens Will Put $1.1 Billion Into New Startups Unit

Jun 28, 2016

German industrial group Siemens plans to invest $1.1 billion over the next five years in a new startups unit to help it develop businesses in areas such as artificial intelligence and decentralized electrification.

The funds will be available to employees, external startups, and established companies if they want to pursue business ideas in fields that are strategic to Siemens' future, the trains-to-turbines group said Tuesday.

Siemens, which was founded in 1847 on the then-new telegraph technology, is expanding its core strengths in automation and electrification in new directions to stay at the cutting edge of the digitization of industry.

It said the first project of its new unit, named "next47" after the year of the group's founding, would be the previously announced joint development with Airbus of electrically powered planes.

Get Data Sheet, Fortune’s technology newsletter.

Other important fields will include autonomous machines, networked mobility, and blockchain applications for the secure transfer of data in industry and energy trading, the technology on which cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are based, it said.

The new unit will come into being on Oct. 1 and will initially be headed by Siegfried Russwurm, Siemens' chief technology officer. It will have offices in Shanghai, Munich and Berkeley, Calif.

All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. FORTUNE may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.

Quotes delayed at least 15 minutes. Market data provided by Interactive Data. ETF and Mutual Fund data provided by Morningstar, Inc. Dow Jones Terms & Conditions: S&P Index data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Terms & Conditions. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions