CEU, Siemens Sign Academic, Technological, Environmental Partnership Agreement

Central European University and Siemens Zrt. signed a memorandum of understanding October 4 that formalizes a longstanding relationship with a view to enhancing student learning through access to Siemens expertise and technology, especially in environmentally friendly technology. Siemens state-of-the-art technology is an important part of CEU's two new buildings, contributing to energy efficiency and cost savings. Siemens has been a partner of CEU Business School and its Center for Integrity in Business and Government (CIBG) since 2011, and in future will also work closely with CEU's Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy.

"This is a partnership between a great university and a great company," said Michael Ignatieff, President and Rector of CEU, at the signing ceremony, held in the Quantum Board Room in the university's new Nador utca 15 building. "The best thing about it is, it's not just an economic partnership, it's an intellectual one."

The agreement signed by Ignatieff and Siemens Chief Executive Officer Dale Martin, initiates an exchange of knowledge via lectures, internships, and research on the energy savings and environmental impact of the Siemens technology in the new CEU campus.

"We're looking forward to enhancing this partnership," Martin said. "We're happy that this technology could be included in this stunning building. It's our first project in Hungary with this technology, which is a refined, honed, and precise version for CEU."

Attendees survey CEU's green-tech new building. Photo: CEU/Sotiris Bekas.

In considering the design of the building systems for the new CEU campus, Siemens' task was to ensure the function and intuitive manageability of the building automation and security technology. A system of this kind contains few elements that operate in isolation and without impacting other system elements. CEU also required that the building be energy-efficient and environmentally responsible. This required innovative solutions.

For example, the ventilation system of lecture halls is controlled automatically by signals from air quality monitoring sensors. As a result, the ventilation system "knows" where and how much used air should be replaced with fresh air. Energy efficiency is supported by a function that automatically ventilates the entire building based on measurements of indoor air quality and temperature, and external air and weather conditions. Ventilation and temperature can also be adjusted based on a room's occupancy or time of day. The building's fire alarm, access control, and camera systems were also integrated into the design.

CIBG was established at CEU Business School in 2011 with a $3 million, five-year grant from Siemens AG with the goal to serve as a regional center of excellence in integrity education, bringing new research and teaching tools to a growing but vastly under-studied field. The Center's primary activities focus on the development of innovative curriculum for MBA and executive students, offering practical insights and hands-on learning to develop the skills and tools required to operate with integrity, particularly in transitioning and emerging markets.