It’s a term you don’t hear much these days—manufacturing startup. Siemens has announced the expansion of the startup Frontier Partner program run by Siemens Technology to Business (TTB) and Siemens’ product lifecycle management (PLM) software organization. The Frontier Partner program, focused on the Silicon Valley region, is designed to find, fund, and forge the “breakthrough technologies that will harness the power of data and accelerate the development and manufacturing of tomorrow’s innovative products.”
The program harkens back to the days that companies such as IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Bell Labs and other U.S.-based technology and manufacturing companies seeded promising startups. Tech companies have continued to invest in new businesses, although many in the chip industry have been fabless. Others have been software-focused, as the Brookings Institute reports:
The urban start-up ferment now energizing city innovation zones from Nashville, Tenn. to Boulder, Colo. has tilted heavily toward software. Actually making things—and manufacturing them—has remained a more avant garde pursuit for the Maker Movement.
Yet now that’s changing, with potentially big implications for cities. Thanks to the rise of an array of new tools, facilities, and services on the hardware side, a new “hardware renaissance” has begun to spread from Silicon Valley out across the U.S.
The Frontier Partner program grants manufacturing-focused startups access to Siemens’ PLM software, its technology partner program, and other developmental resources. Siemens PLM Software is a leading global provider of digital software solutions that address areas such as product development, manufacturing, product data management and manufacturing operations management.
Siemens has already enrolled several startup companies into the Frontier Partner program as part of a pilot focusing on 3D printing innovations. With its recent announcement, Siemens is expanding the Frontier Partner program to entrepreneurs with a focus on robotics technologies.
In addition to the more than $1 billion Siemens invests annually in the U.S. for research and development, this latest digital entrepreneurial initiative from Siemens is aimed at getting innovations to market quicker by building on existing, industry-proven tools. With a presence in Silicon Valley since the 1950s, Siemens envisions a future where Silicon Valley companies will infuse the excitement and creativity seen in consumer-focused apps into industrial software that will increase productivity, efficiency, speed-to-market and flexibility in modern manufacturing.
Founded in 1999 in Berkeley, California, Siemens TTB aims to nurture partnerships with startups to connect thousands of engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs to business opportunities around the globe. TTB is part of the Siemens Corporate Technology unit, which is comprised of some 7,400 of the world’s most talented innovators, scientists, engineers and technical experts from over two dozen countries.
“The Frontier Partner program joins a long line of Siemens Technology to Business programs that partner with startups to add value to our core and future businesses so we can better serve our customers,” said Chenyang Xu, General Manager, Siemens Technology to Business Berkeley. “The startups accepted into this program demonstrate excellence in developing unique and innovative technologies and partnering with Siemens can bring the scale and scope necessary to help their business succeed.”
The Frontier Partner program supports startups in the product development phase. Startups accepted into the pilot receive a year-long development license to a comprehensive suite of Siemens’ PLM software that enables them to develop the new product. Additionally, participants have access to Siemens development mentors and other technology partners who utilize Siemens software.
“Businesses across the globe in industries from autos to aerospace to consumer electronics are constantly striving to get products to market faster and more efficiently,” said Chuck Grindstaff, CEO and President, Siemens PLM Software. “Our PLM software solutions are being utilized today by virtually every segment of the industrial base worldwide, helping to enable the next era of advanced manufacturing. We’re proud to offer our tools to Frontier Partner startups as they work to bring their own manufacturing-focused innovations to market.”
Initial Frontier participants are:
- Authentise –engineering software to securely stream 3D designs directly to printers.
- Avante Technology, LLC –providing software that repairs & prepares 3D files for printing.
- Matterfab –developing a metal 3D printer for industrial use.
- MatterMachine –platform enabling scalable bespoke manufacturing.
- nTopology, Inc. –building software to generate optimized 3D lattice structures.
"We're delighted to be part of the Siemens Frontier Partner program to bring our secure delivery tools for additive manufacturing to a greater audience," said Andre Wegner, Founder and CEO of Authentise. “This is just the start of a long partnership to learn and develop products for a distributed manufacturing future together."
The pilot startups were chosen because they are all focused on solving industrial users’ challenges that are encountered with 3D printing including reliability, scalability, and ease-of-use for mass-scale applications. Now, startups with a focused on robotics will also be able to access the Frontier Partner program.
The expansion of the Frontier Partner program was announced at Bold Bets: Tomorrow’s Industrial Entrepreneurship (And How Everything Will Change) – an event held by The Atlantic at the University of California, Berkeley that focused on the digitalization of infrastructure and how the infusion of entrepreneurship and data will impact industrial manufacturing and software. The event was underwritten by Siemens.
Startups looking to join the Frontier Partner program can apply today at www.ttb.siemens.com/frontier.
Visit http://inr.synapticdigital.com/siemens/IndustrialEntrepreneurship for video and other details.