- Siemens Caring Hands makes tablets available to all local THW sections through the THW Foundation
- Devices are also to be equipped with cloud-based apps based on Siemens’ Mendix software
- Civil defense and disaster control teams are to use tablets and software to respond to emergencies in a faster and more targeted manner
- Project is part of the COVID-19 relief fund set up by Siemens and is a key element of THW Foundation’s PROGRESSUS initiative
Siemens Caring Hands e.V. is making a long-term contribution to fighting the pandemic and is supporting the task forces of the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) in driving digital transformation with the help of the THW Foundation. This will simplify THW’s work as a system-relevant organization in times of crisis. In total, Siemens Caring Hands is donating 668 tablets to THW Foundation, which in turn is making it possible to use these devices at all 668 local THW sections. Siemens Caring Hands is not only bearing the hardware costs, but is also making Siemens experts available as advisors to help put the devices into operation – for example, by helping with data protection issues and by equipping the tablets with additional cloud-based apps. These apps are being programmed for this specific purpose by Mendix, a Business Unit of Siemens Digital Industries and a global leader in no-code/low-code applications. To develop the apps, a multi-phase process has been established that enables THW to plan the low-code applications on its own according to its specific needs and to then develop the apps with the aid of a hackathon that Siemens will be holding at the end of April.
In this way, it will be possible, for example, to digitalize assignment processing and respiratory protection monitoring to enable more targeted and more reliable planning of deployments in times of crisis, such as the pandemic.
Cedrik Neike, member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG and CEO of Siemens Digital Industries, said: “For decades now, THW has been providing indispensable support for disaster relief. So, I’m very happy that we can help this highly appreciated organization to also drive their own digital transformation – in particular, during the pandemic. With our low-code applications, we’re enabling THW – and, above all, people without in-depth IT knowledge – to put digitalization to work in an easy way. These capabilities will be highly beneficial when it comes to providing targeted, rapid assistance in any kind of natural or civil disaster in Germany or abroad.”
At the initiative of Siemens AG and with the support of Siemens Caring Hands, a COVID-19 relief fund was established in March 2020 to provide charitable support to relief organizations and to people affected by the crisis worldwide. Siemens AG matched the amount donated by its employees. These donations have been used, and are being used, to support specific charitable aid projects in more than 38 countries and corona hotspots. In connection with its cooperation with THW Foundation, Siemens Caring Hands is assuming the costs for purchasing and setting up the tablets as well as most of the licensing fees. In this way, Siemens Caring Hands is ensuring that the apps can be used for at least three years. In total, therefore, the charitable association is providing the foundation with €566,000 in aid. Further cooperation is already in planning in order to also make a future long-term contribution to disaster relief.
“Siemens Caring Hands wants to use the donations made by Siemens AG and its employees to help mitigate the pandemic’s consequences. In total, Siemens and its employees have mobilized about €15.5 million for this purpose. I’m very grateful that we can now also make a substantial contribution to THW, which is playing such an important role in fighting the crisis,” said Prof. Dr. Christian Kaeser, Chairman of Siemens Caring Hands e.V.
This project is an integral part of THW Foundation’s PROGRESSUS initiative, which is designed to enable THW to use digital solutions to provide assistance in a more efficient, targeted and rapid manner.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how important connectivity is for enabling the structures and processes of an emergency response system to work successfully. For this reason, we cordially thank Siemens Caring Hands for its generous donation to the THW Foundation, which is an important component of THW’s digitalization process. This extensive bundle of digital capabilities will make it possible to drive further progress in the digital transformation of disaster relief services. Within the framework of this project, a participative innovation process will empower THW’s volunteers to use digital capabilities to independently support options for response operations, accelerate operational processes and improve both logistics and the flow of information,” emphasized Stephan Mayer, Chairman of THW Foundation.
Gerd Friedsam, President of the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief, added: “Digitalization is transforming society and civil defense and thus also THW. New hazards require innovative approaches backed by a digital strategy. The work that THW Foundation is doing in cooperation with Siemens Caring Hands to foster these approaches represents another step on THW’s path into the digital future.”