Karlsruhe is excited to welcome the CODE_n new.New Festival including this year’s 52 finalists of the startup contest. The whole city is known for influencing the industrial history of the German southwest – not only by inventing bicycles and cars some decades ago, but also by shaping today’s digital transition. The universities located in Karlsruhe combined with one of Europe’s highest density of ICT-SMEs involved in research and development and quite a few renowned research institutes produce a unique number of interesting emerging startups, especially in the field of hightech and ICT. Unsurprisingly, two of the 52 CODE_n finalists are from Karlsruhe.
We would like to introduce some of the most promising young companies based in the “Fächerstadt” to you:
CODE_n finalist otego – revolutionizing the sensor market
otego is poised to be the first manufacturer of low-cost thermoelectric generators (TEGs) that are suitable for mass use. By avoiding batteries in IoT devices, otego TEGs are a sustainable solution for harvesting energy using wireless sensors and actuators. otego aims to sell its generators directly to sensor manufacturers and smart home OEMs. To achieve this, the team is setting up its own production line (capacity 1 million TEGs per year) and is already in regular contact with many potential customers.
CODE_n finalist Kinemic – gesture control at a new level
Kinemic develops software to control and interact with digital devices – from smart watches, to smartphones, AR glasses, and PCs. All it takes is a few hand and arm motions. Kinemic is currently developing its first finished products with major German enterprises. Later, the plan is to license the patented technology to OEMs and other software developers.
ArtiMinds fills the gap between autonomous and self-learning robots and classical industrial robots by providing software that is widely applicable and specialized in extremely fast and intuitive generations of complex, sensor-adaptive motion programs for robot arms, grippers and tools. This allows the industrial use and application of robotics even for varying processes and products and small production lots.
In times of digital transformation, it is more important than ever for companies to keep up with trends and stay proactive. Don’t you sometimes wish you had a crystal ball to see what’s going to be the next big thing for your industry? Visiting our new.New Festival can almost feel like having that power: the festival is all about innovation and will uncover current and future developments of digital transformation. Here are 5 reasons you won’t want to miss the event!
When establishing the connected mobility ecosystem, the industry should learn from the experience of the telecommunications industry. A proof of concept with a BMW i3 has demonstrated the transferability of these concepts to the car. They lay the ground for a rich service ecosystem which has space for many profitable business models.
BMW i3 | Copyright: Sabine Schulte
IoT platforms are the future control centres of the data- and service-driven mobility world. They will connect all stakeholders in the digital value chains and monitor and control vehicles with all their functions.
A prerequisite for this is openness. The platform must be able to communicate with the vehicles and their bus systems via different media and protocols. Another requirement is a federal structure of the service marketplace. The IoT platform brings together data and services from the vehicle and its environment. It also provides data and services to other service providers – all safely, reliably and in compliance with any data protection standards.
Finally, it takes features that transform data into commercially viable services – this includes, for example, device management, the use of various telecommunications providers, collection and analysis of data streams, application development and the integration of external and internal application landscapes.
IoT platform in practice: proof of concept with BMW i3
These characteristics can be found in technologies which are used by the telecommunications industry. This industry has many years of experience with the extremely high demands of managing millions of networked devices and their services. In order to demonstrate how these technologies can be employed in connected mobility, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and automotive engineering services company IAV implemented a proof of concept (PoC) which is currently being extended with several carmakers. The PoC was implemented with a BMW i3, which was equipped with bidirectional IoT Gateways based on an HPE Edgeline server, and HPEs “Universal IoT Platform”. More…
Digital solutions are finding their way into all areas of life and work. With this digital transition, we are seeing disruptive technologies present the old economy with staggering challenges. Entire industries are being forced to redefine themselves from one day to the next – and traditional business strongholds are following suit. Christian Birnesser from our CODE_n new.New Festival partner Cyberforum has summed things up for us in a feature called 11 reasons why Karlsruhe is ready for the digital transition. And what kinds of things the city should focus on despite – or maybe because of – its terrific starting point:
1. Lead through IT
The “fan-shaped city” already got a head start in the race to introduce digital solutions. As a bastion of Germany’s IT industry, Karlsruhe is inherently digital: The region is home to roughly 4,200 IT companies providing 36,000 jobs. A 2014 EU study of the most important ICT hubs on the continent listed Karlsruhe as a frontrunner thanks to its strong foundation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – right behind metropolises like Munich, London, and Paris.
(Image Source: KTG Karlsruhe Tourismus GmbH)
Where other locations have to start at square one, Karlsruhe already has a great footing. Now it’s important to keep up the momentum and not give out just before the finish line.
2. A new IT generation is up and coming
Karlsruhe is a college town with 43,250 students at 9 universities and schools of applied sciences. Nearly 20% of these students are enrolled in IT-related programs. The renowned faculties at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences (HsKA) attract talented students from all across the country. IT and informatics have never before been in such high demand: In the winter semester of 2015/2016, there were 730 first-year students enrolled in informatics courses, just at KIT alone. That’s more than were registered back in 2012/2013, when double the number of high school graduates headed off to college. So this is know-how that has come to be very important in the age of digitalization.
It might sound like a broken record but: Today’s students are the specialists and managers of tomorrow. If they can be attracted to stay put and not move away, that’s great for the local economy – for the long term.
3. Breaking ground for business
The fan-shaped city has cultivated a very attractive startup scene. There’s a good level of exchange and people meet up regularly at events like the founders’ BBQ. The support that’s on offer is also exemplary: The Center for Interdisciplinary Entrepreneurship (CIE) is an ideal first port of call for business founders. It’s located directly on the KIT campus. With its CyberLab, the CyberForum runs its own incubator or accelerator especially for IT and high-tech startups. And both the city and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) are in a great position to offer consulting services. Beyond this, all key stakeholders have become involved in the network of founders in Karlsruhe. More…
Dr. Peter Leibinger, Vice-Chairman of the TRUMPF Group
In our first guest article by one of our new.New Festival partners, Dr. Peter Leibinger, Vice-Chairman of the TRUMPF Group, responsible for research and development, talks about innovation and sustainable technology development:
General trends of digitalization like Industry 4.0 or additive manufacturing disrupt the status quo in industrial manufacturing. Products, processes, techniques and business models might have to be changed fundamentally. When it comes to innovation for our industry, three definitions come to my mind. First is an obvious definition, by Schumpeter, that innovation is a new technical solution that successfully establishes itself in the marketplace. Secondly, innovation is any substantial technological novelty or new combination of existing technologies that are the basis for progress regarding the major requirements that a product has to fulfill. In the laser industry this would be for example productivity, usability or reliability. Thirdly, innovation brings a benefit that the customer actually experiences as a benefit. This can be a small progress on the technological aspect, however, small differences in products can yield dramatic differences in the customer experience
The basic principle we have at TRUMPF for a successful and sustainable technology development is: Deep knowledge across a broad range of technologies. This is absolutely essential. Through this we are able to judge, actively pursue and monitor competing technologies. This concerns both sheet metal forming and industrial laser technology. Along the sheet metal process chain we provide all relevant technologies – punching, bending, cutting and welding. The same is true for laser technology. With disk, gas and diode lasers, we have the power of choice and we find the best solution for any application. An important precondition to technological leadership in our field is also a selective vertical integration along the technological value chain. This means that we pursue all key technologies simultaneously. That’s why we can optimize the entire laser system and the individual subsystems. This results in decisive benefits for our customers, and at the same time protects our knowhow and our unique competitive advantage. More…
A bit more than a year ago Vodafone Germany introduced its Start-up Power Team (short SUP) – a team that is solely responsible for creating strong partnerships with young companies. Besides promoting and mentoring startups, Vodafone offers them to test prototypes in their test facilities and enables access to a large distribution network. To find out more about Vodafone’s recent startup activities we talked to Michael Reinartz, the new Director Innovation at Vodafone Germany.
First of all thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Could you explain, which role startups play in Vodafone’s overall innovation strategy? And why exactly do you believe it is important to include them into your strategy?
Michael Reinartz, Director Innovation, Vodafone Germany
Michael Reinartz: The work of the start-up power team forms one of the three pillars of our company’s innovation strategy. Through cooperation with startups, we aim to bring more external innovation into Vodafone. Contrary to most other corporates, we are focusing exclusively on technology and distribution partnerships and do not conduct financial investments in startups. We are convinced that with our extensive consumer and enterprise distribution network, our technology centers across Germany as well as with our expertise in a variety of different fields, we can support start-ups better than with a mere investment.
If you could describe Vodafone’s startup activities in one sentence, what would that be?
Michael Reinartz: It’s rather simple: Our goal at Vodafone is to match promising startups with our technologies, products and our network and work together to bring innovative ideas to market.
You mention the matching of Vodafone and startups. Why is such a potential partnership with Vodafone interesting for startups?
Michael Reinartz: We offer startups to develop and test their products at our Innovation Park. At our so called VIP labs we have over 1000 test projects each year, which makes our Innovation Park Labs one of the leading test facilities for telecommunication innovations worldwide. At the facilities we have more than 300 experts from the widest range of technological fields, which represent a unique pool of digital communication know-how. These experts can provide valuable mentoring to startups and it helps them to extend their personal network. Furthermore, regarding more technical benefits, the capacity of our test network is sufficient to provide mobile coverage for a country such as Switzerland – this offers startups unique testing opportunities. In addition we offer startups the possibility to test their products or services among our customers. Together with the startups we will identify the right customer segment for their market research to receive the best possible customer insights. Each problem that we can identify at an early stage of testing, reduces the lead time of innovation projects, meaning that we will actively help startups to bring their products and services to the market sooner. More…
Many reasons why startups and corporates seek collaboration are clear: startups benefit from funding, expertise as well as from a business and sales network, while large corporates profit from startups’ innovative power, operational speed and creativity. A large percentage of corporates stated that they require startups to enable innovation for their business. In an equal collaboration, the vital effect of startups for the innovation process of big companies meets the need of startups for a powerful patron. But when new and established businesses come together, they most likely face challenges like a culture clash or the struggle of control and independence. However, equal and successful collaboration is possible! Find out how with the best practices in incubations, accelerations and partnerships.
Your startup in Connected Mobility is reinventing the wheel! By developing new transportation and supply chain solutions for people, goods and information you are driving the revolution of mobility. Innovations in Connected Mobility will not only have a tremendous impact on the economy by finding more efficient ways for transportation, but also improve the integrated services for information processing, data security and manufacturing. One key technology of Connected Mobility is the Internet of Things, a concept of non-living objects intelligently communicating with each other. By means of this information technology we can expect groundbreaking changes for both our society and economy.