At the 4th Start-Up Pitch hosted yesterday by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport at the Westhafen Docks in Berlin, start-up founders and young entrepreneurs presented their digital solutions for structural change in the German lignite-mining regions. Nine teams, in total, presented their ideas to Dr Volker Wissing, the Federal Minister for Digital and Transport, and the jury members. The Start-Up Pitch aimed to identify digital, data-based innovations which will help drive climate-friendly mobility and services of general interest in the former coal-mining regions.
Minister Wissing stated:
Data is the basis of digital progress. We will therefore make available more and better data. This is a commitment the Federal Government has made in its Digital Strategy. This data can be used, for example, to develop digital innovations that will make people's lives easier. With our mFUND, we are promoting inventive data-driven solutions from all over Germany. The winning projects from our Start-Up Pitch show that there are many fascinating new ideas. With the help of data, they have developed innovative solutions to the great challenges of structural change in the German lignite-mining regions. I congratulate them on their excellent achievement!
In total, three jury awards and one audience award were handed out. Each of the winning teams will receive 10,000 euros of financial assistance from the mFUND to implement their ideas.
The winners are:
Spyce – social mobility:
Digital application for ride-sharing offers on short distances in urban and rural areas
Supplementing local public transport services in rural areas with autonomous shuttle buses navigating on the basis of real-time highly accurate maps
MINOS (also winner of the audience award):
Real-time level crossing status information for emergency responders
In addition, all nine finalists will have the opportunity to submit their ideas in a special category for financial assistance from mFUND. Under this category, research and development projects can receive financial assistance of up to 3 million euros over a period of up to 36 months.
The other projects are:
Using drones for volume estimation at construction sites for the conversion of former lignite mines
Sensor technology and data collection for determining the friction coefficient of the road to improve road safety in autonomous vehicles
Participatory spatial development with 3D and AR:
Improving participatory procedures for participatory urban and regional planning in rural areas by using augmented reality
Supporting tools for mobile senior citizens:
Digital assistants for the self-determined use of mobility services
Four-dimensional digital information twin to illustrate the conversion of lignite-mines for citizens, businesses and policymakers
LOKK - Cloud-based analyses and simulations with real-time data for proactive urban and regional planning:
Cloud-based online platform for flexible work with geospatial data for site analysis
The Start-up Pitch took place as part of the Ministry’s annual mFUND conference which was organized under the heading “Data innovation for a climate- and environment-friendly mobility”.
The mFUND conference provides an opportunity to exchange ideas and experience and to network with other players. For one-and-a-half days, the participants can engage in discussions in ten different expert forums on topics ranging from automated driving to road safety.
For further information, please go to: https://www.mfund-konferenz.de/programm/ (in German)
With its mFUND innovation initiative, the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport is supporting the development of digital business ideas that are based on mobility, geospatial and weather data. The mFund targets academia, industry and especially start-ups as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in order to exploit the potential of innovative digitalization projects in the transport sector. Almost 400 projects have so far received financial assistance under the initiative, which makes mFund a real success story.