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Future of Operations & Maintenance 2024 – Six new startups started their programFuture of Operations & Maintenance 2024 – Six new startups started their program

Six new and promising startups were selected at our startup selection day in Frankfurt am Main on the 29th of January. Out of 16 international competitors DataMonkey, Vertama, M-CADOR, Traversals, emost & Solar Drone convinced our jury and were selected for our new program Future of Operations & Maintenance 2024. The startups already had a warm welcome at the onboarding week mid-February which was packed with team-building sessions, insights into the world of Deutsche Bahn including a guided tour inside Berlin Main Station and an excursion to the ICE plant in Rummelsburg. Another important part of the onboarding week were the kick-off workshops in which startups, DB experts and startup manager discuss and define their use cases and how to get started. The first step towards a successful proof of concept (poc) has been taken and we are looking forward to a great collaboration and exciting startup projects. Stay tuned!

Regional Traffic , ConTech &  GreenTech – Exciting insights into 100 days of innovation programRegional Traffic , ConTech &  GreenTech – Exciting insights into 100 days of innovation program  

February was a busy month full of startup presentations: On the one hand the new cohort of six startups were selected and just began their 100 days poc-program with us and on the other hand 13 startups presented their achievements from three programs. The startups gave exciting insights into the various use cases that were developed together with our DB colleagues, but also with external partners such as Die Autobahn GmbH des Bundes. The range of use cases was diverse: from the use of carbon-free olivine as a substitute for climate-damaging cement, the support of bridge inspections using drones & artificial intelligence (AI), to the AI-supported information retrieval for customer needs, the navigation for visually impaired travelers via QR codes, circular economy approach & urban mining potential, to the simplification of objection management in large construction projects using AI.

What was achieved within 100 days? Here is a selection:
✅ Enormous time savings & reduction of processing effort to a minimum through the use of an AI agent in objection management
✅ Minimization of manual inspection efforts and increase in quality compared to previous bridge inspections through precise localization of damage using drones & AI
✅ Implementation of an accurate train model (incl. route, energy consumption & resistance model) as part of the development of an energy-efficient driving strategy through reinforcement learning
✅ Evident, image-based condition detection and high-precision reconstructed component dimensions using X-rays in the area of bridge inspection

Many thanks to all involved startups and colleagues for the achievements and the promising results! Fingers crossed for the upcoming discussions.

Regional Traffic 2023: Facil'iti | amberSearch | Signly | NaviLens
Future of Construction Technologies 2023: Twinsity | Innomatik | Bauray | Roometric
GreenTech for DB: Carbonauten | PowereX Energy | Concular | Qdive | Oliment

DB alternative Routing Challenge – Apply now!DB alternative Routing Challenge – Apply now!

Together with our partner DB Regio, we are looking for innovative solutions as part of our challenge to improve passenger information in the event of disruptions. The aim is to calculate alternative routes.  

What are the specific requirements of the challenge?
We are looking for expertise in the areas of route planning and data analysis so that passengers can find the best possible alternative routes in the event of disruptions to regular train services. These routes must include all modes of public transportation - buses, streetcars, subways and trains - and may also include cabs, bicycles or other shared mobility services. Selected applicants will receive exclusive insights into international passenger information as well as access to DB's traffic data. The required solution must efficiently identify and prioritize alternative routes and communicate them in a text format (later required as JSON). Furthermore, in addition to DB data, the solution should also use openly accessible information such as weather data, local events or points of interest to improve the results. A particular focus is on providing alternative routes for mobility-impaired travelers.

We are looking forward to innovative solutions which can help us to improve our services. Startups as well as small and medium-sized companies can apply for the challenge until the 10th of March via our website here.

Regional Traffic 2024 – New startup program onlineRegional Traffic 2024 – New startup program online

Calling all mobility innovators: Apply now and shape the future of integrated everyday mobility within our Regional Traffic 2024 program! Our strong partner DB Regio transports more than 4.5 million passengers per day and the numbers are continuously increasing. Therefore, we are looking together with DB Regio for new and innovative solutions to:

💡​ Bring the usage of bus and replacement services to the next level
💡​ Ensure consistent and real time traveller information
💡​ Generate capacity information
💡​ Develop Mobility Hubs in rural areas
💡​ Speed up customer service communication

More information about the program as well as the application form can be found on our website here. We are looking for exciting applications which can be submitted until the 31st of March.

GovTech summit in Berlin – Interesting panel talk about productive collaboration within the govtech sector GovTech summit in Berlin – Interesting panel talk about productive collaboration within the govtech sector 

Make, buy or co-create? What should productive collaboration in the GovTech ecosystem look like? Our colleague and team lead operations & construction Nils Hillebrandt spoke about this with Federal CIO Markus Richter and Christine Serrette, Vice President of the Federal Information Technology Centre (ITZBund) at the GovTech Summit organized by Handelsblatt and Possible in Berlin. For two days, the community conference provided exciting insights and discussions on the topics of digitalization and ecosystems. How can we succeed in advancing the digitalization of government and administration? The answer is clear: together! And this depends on cooperation between a wide range of innovative players from politics, administration and the tech scene. That's why we were happy to accept the invitation and share our experience of how we have been successfully driving digitalization and innovation as Deutsche Bahn's startup hub for eight years now.

Startup topics from the mobility sector at the GovTech summit? How does that fit together?
It fits together very well because, on the one hand, we often have similar administrative and technological challenges and, on the other hand, we are firmly convinced that digitalization and innovation can only work together. Examples of this are our alumni startups SUMM AI and Respeak, both were there in person with Flora Geske and Dr. Tim Rietz to present and talk about their projects.

Thinking outside the box is essential in order to gain new ideas and approaches. We have built up this expertise over the years and would like to share it with other players in the ecosystem. Our past innovation projects with external partners such as Die Autobahn GmbH des Bundes, INROS LACKNER SE and the MANITOU Group confirm this. 

Thanks for the invitation and the fruitful connections at the GovTech summit.

Rail Innovators Meetup – Exchange and networking at our officeRail Innovators Meetup – Exchange and networking at our office

End of January we hold the first Rail Innovators Meetup at our office in Berlin. A format which brought together established rail companies from the associations Rail S and Verband der Bahnindustrie in Deutschland (VDB) with DB mindbox (alumni) startups. It’s a great feeling when ideas really take off because this format was discussed and brainstormed with Tobias Ruch and Christin Lorenz-Knoll two years ago during an industry event.

Under the theme Industry experience meets startup spirit 50+ participants from all across Germany came to Berlin to exchange, network, and discuss current development and experiences. Pitches, best practices of successful cooperations and workshop-sessions of SIUT, INROS LACKNER SE, Building Information Innovator (BII), svt, Hyconnect, Respeak, Fraunhofer IKTS, STRABAG, Best Sensor, PECS-WORK, NaKorid, DATAbility, FBT Feinblechtechnik und Seven Bel gave inspiring insights for the participants. This was a good start on which we can build on, so this won't be the last time!

Spitzke & Tough Training – VR based training program for lateral entrants and trainees
Spitzke & Tough Training – VR based training program for lateral entrants and trainees

Deep dive into a realistic and Virtual Reality (VR) experience! This is possible through the cooperation between our alumni startup Tough Training and Spitzke which have developed a special learning program. Within the program the participants use tablets and VR glasses which provide a realistic virtual experience of various scenarios in the field of railway construction. The learning objective for their lateral entrants and trainees is to develop an awareness of hazardous situations during the training program. The VR glasses are currently being used at Spitzke Azubi-Tage event series. Visitors immerse themselves in a digital world and move virtually around a construction project or, for example, in the depot. "The new VR technology is interesting for training fairs to give our potential trainees an impression of the work and to show how modern training at SPITZKE is," says Jörg Prohaszka (Head of Spitzke Akademie). The starting point of the cooperation between Tough Training and Spitzke was our DB mindbox program back in 2022. So, it is great to see that the follow up cooperation is doing well and connects an immersive training experience with a fun factor.

Be part of the community and get involved

Prototype Fund – Get up to €47,500 for your social software project
Prototype Fund – Get up to €47,500 for your social software project

Are you developing software projects with social added value? Then secure up to €47,500 in funding now. The Prototype Fund supports individual developers and small teams in realizing their innovative project ideas from concept to prototype. Open source software from society for society is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research with up to €47,500 per project as well as coaching, networking and advice. The focus is on topics such as data security, software infrastructure, data literacy and civic tech.

Applications can be submitted until the 31st of March on their website here. The Prototype Fund would like to expressly encourage FLINTA, people of colour, people with disabilities and all other people who belong to groups that are underrepresented in technology development in Germany to apply.  

Generative AI: What impact does the technology has on your startup?
Generative AI: What impact does the technology has on your startup?

German Startups Association is currently working together with Hubraum, Deutsche Telekom's tech incubator, and the German AI Association on a new study on the developments in the field of generative AI in the startup ecosystem. We are happy to support the survey and would be delighted if as many startups as possible could take part. The survey only takes 5 minutes! Click here for the survey. 

TRANSFORM - Join us at the new flagship event by Bitkom 
TRANSFORM - Join us at the new flagship event by Bitkom 

Digitization now! That's what the new Bitkom B2B flagship event - TRANSFORM - is all about. On the 6th & 7th March everything in Berlin will revolve around the digital transformation of companies. At the Expo and Stages, in networking and learning formats, TRANSFORM 2024 will showcase solutions and bring them to life.

Management teams, C-level executives, digital experts and decision-makers from the world of politics will come together to drive the digital future of the German economy forward. As an event partner we offer our network 20% discount on your ticket purchase. Just use the code TRANSFORM_20 at the ticket process here. See you at Station Berlin in March! 

Supplier Innovation Award 2024 by Deutsche Bahn 
Supplier Innovation Award 2024 by Deutsche Bahn 

Deutsche Bahn (DB) will be presenting its Supplier Innovation Award to its most innovative supply-side partner once again in 2024.

Who can enter?
DB is looking forward to hearing from companies and institutions that provide innovative products or services.

What kind of proposals is DB looking for? 
Entries to inspire DB to develop new technologies, processes, workflows, products, services and marketing solutions.

What is the evaluation process like?
All of the entries DB receives will be assessed by in-house panel of experts using the criteria listed below. The Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI will provide its support during the evaluation processes.

Why should you apply?
This is a unique chance for you to get high level attention by Deutsche Bahn, its stakeholders and potential clients. Also, the award ceremony will be take place at InnoTrans 2024 – the leading international trade fair for transport technology – on September in Berlin.

Who won the award recently?
You are in good company, as DB mindbox alumni startups have won the award in recent years 
(winner 2022 – Project E-Check with Gestalt Robotics; winner 2021 – Live EO; winner 2018 - Holoplot)

The deadline for applications is the 1st of March 2024. More information can be found here.

Mitmach-Preis Lausitz 2023 - Looking for new ideas and initiatives 

Mitmach-Preis Lausitz 2023 - Looking for new ideas and initiatives 

The new rail service in the Lausitz region lays a strong foundation for the overall development of the area. It is crucial for DB to actively participate as a mobility partner in the region and establish connections with local and regional collaborators. To achieve this goal, we are proud to introduce the Mitmach-Preis Lausitz, set to be announced in October 2023, with a total prize fund of 50,000€.

The objective is to engage with local residents and support up to ten innovative ideas and initiatives promoting social, environmentally friendly, and sustainable mobility in the region. The award aims to facilitate the implementation of these ideas and projects, enabling participants to kick-start their initiatives immediately. The scope of projects eligible for the prize is wide-ranging, encompassing various aspects of mobility in the region. The deadline for applications is extended until 03rd of March 2024. Check out the website here for more information. 

Save the date - Happy to connect at our next events

26. - 29.02.2024
MWC Barcelona - World largest and most influential connectivy event (Barcelona, Spain)

NCA Innovation Day - Networking with startup pitches & match making (Hamburg, Germany)

06. - 07.03.2024
Transform - Expo, stages, networking and learning (Station Berlin, Germany)

VDV Verkehrscamp - Networking event with barcamp, discussions etc. (Essen, Germany)

Open Innovation Forum - The forum hosts founders, investors, entrapreneurs, academics etc. (Berlin, Germany)

20. - 23.03.2024
FOSSGIS conference - Open source conference for geoinformation, open data etc. (Hamburg, Germany)

21. - 22.03.2024
Hello Tomorrow - Global summit with 3.000+ attendees, 100 speakers, 4 stages etc. (Paris, France)

09. - 10.05.2024
EU Startups Summit - Europe's hottest startups & innovators meet in Malta (Valletta, Malta)

15. - 21.-07.2024 
Save the date: Kreativsause at Mobilitätscampus Fläming (Bad Belzig/Coconat Retreat, Germany) 

30.09. - 02.10.2024 
Save the date: Dreiländerhack 

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