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Construction Site Tech: Digital Awakening

How DB mindbox is supporting Deutsche Bahn AG to digitize construction projects in cooperation with Startups

DB mindbox is the startup hub of Deutsche Bahn AG, Europe’s biggest railway infrastructure and mobility provider. Their aim is to bring new innovations into the railway industry by reaching out to startups to pilot new products and solutions with DB and partners. 

Successful alumni of DB mindbox include KonuxNplan, abaut, and Datumate.

What is their current call for applications about?

The next program Construction Site Tech: Digital Awakening will start in OctoberHowever, this time, not only DB itself, but nine established companies of the railway construction industry are looking for innovative startup ideas to progress together.

A constant progress and an increase in digitization are high priority goals in the modern construction industry. Since these goals can be better achieved in cooperation, the “Future Initiative of Railway Construction” (Zukunftsinitiative Bahnbau) was founded at the beginning of 2019 by both the construction industry and the railway industry together with Deutsche Bahn. However, this emerging cross-company collaboration shall not be limited to large companies – also small companies or startups that provide innovative products and future technologies, are invited to disrupt the railway construction industry.

Therefore, nine established companies of this initiative are looking together with DB mindbox for new startup solutions. During the DB mindbox 100-day program the selected startups develop Proof of Concepts (PoC) for those companies, which in turn lays the foundation for joint projects and successful collaborations.

The program focuses on startups with solutions for the execution phases of construction projects, especially in the following areas of digital inspection, robotics and intelligent administration.

Digital inspection

For a realistic planning and reasonable evaluation of construction projects, it is of utmost importance to have a thorough collection and documentation of local circumstances, initial conditions and tasks performed. Status information must be fully captured and documented in a reasonable manner right from the start. The information must then be updated on a regular basis. Hence, they are looking for prospective solutions that simplify, automate and improve status logs and progress documentations.

More specifically they are looking for:

  • New hardware solutions
  • Intelligent status documentation
  • Progress monitoring during construction

2. Robotics

In many industries, disruptive improvements have already been achieved using autonomous machines. There is also great potential for automated and robot-assisted services in railway construction technology. Whether individual process steps or entire process chains – innovative autonomous solutions are attractive for numerous operations in construction projects.

In this area the focus is on the following topics:

  • Robotics for specific tasks
  • Autonomous process control
  • Automatic care and maintenance

3. Intelligent administration

The larger a construction project, the higher the number of companies, contractors and suppliers involved. In order to achieve optimal cooperation between those individual parties, reliable and easy to use documents are crucial.

Especially the following topics are of interest:

  • Intelligent contracts
  • Intelligent data management
  • Visualization of existing data

How does it work?

Selected startups will get the chance to pitch not only in front of DB but also seven other established companies of the railway construction industry, at the 22nd of September (please also refer to the timeline at the end of this article):


Within their 100 days program at DB mindbox, startups will get the opportunity to develop a proof of concept (with an existing product the startups already have! The minimum stage a startup should be at, is MVP) and to test your solution live in the existing systems. This means, the partnering companies will open their infrastructure, assets, and data, so that there is everything necessary available for a successful testing. This is a great chance to lay the foundation for joint projects and successful collaboration.  

On top selected startups will get: 25.000€, no equity taken, coworking space next to the Spree in Berlin, and valuable coaching and mentoring with well-known industry experts. 

Apply now! 

You think your startup would be a fit? Submit your application by June 14th, 2020. You will find the application form and more information by following this link

Any questions?

Feel free to contact DB mindbox directly:

Also Read:

ConTech: The Next Generation.

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