Six companies win the i4Challenge (SME + Startup)
The i4Challenge expert jury has selected six winners from 18 finalists. The Industry 4.0 solutions range from 3D printing, IoT, Big Data Analysis, AI, Robotics, Smart Production to new economic and social models.
The winners of this year’s i4Challenge have been announced
BLP Digital AG, a spin-off of ETH Zurich, uses AI to automate ERP and accounting processes based on documents (goods receipt, invoices). The automatic learning system extracts relevant information from documents using a new combination of computer-based image processing and natural language processing. By integrating the solution into customers’ existing systems and workflows, business processes are accelerated and costs are reduced.
ketag 4.0 is a project of drive technology specialist Küffer Elektronik AG. ketag 4.0 digitizes machine maintenance and promotes predictive maintenance. This begins with consulting, includes the installation of sensor technology, data analysis and monitoring of the systems, and ends with support and maintenance.
No-Touch Robotics GmbH has developed a robot that can move small objects without contact. Small objects, such as those used in the watch industry or in the medtech sector, are detected by grippers with acoustic levitation control.
Objectis Machine is a framework to bridge the gap between IT and OT and is compatible with most technologies on the market. The solution is a standardized software framework for flexible machine control. For Christopher Bouzas from Objectis, this win is a welcome acknowledgment: “More than 20 experts have confirmed that our software automation framework, which fills the gap between digital and automation technologies, is an answer to the challenges of Industry 4.0”.
Tinamu Labs AG, a spin-off of ETH Zurich, has developed a solution that enables the safe use of computer-controlled drones in any environment. Indoor flight paths for repetitive inspection tasks, inventory management and monitoring can be easily defined and automated.
SEW Eurodrive has introduced a robotic pick-and-place solution with changing pick-and-place positions. The TouchProbe for robots uses digital sensors to achieve highly accurate positioning. This innovative solution was created by an employee of SEW Eurodrive as part of a master’s thesis and entered for the i4Challenge.
The winners will receive a joint stand with Basel Area Business & Innovation at the Be 4.0 trade fair in Mulhouse, access to the Industry 4.0 network in the Basel Area, and coaching, mentoring and access to coworking spaces at one of the four locations of the Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area. In addition, they become annual members of the Société Industrielle de Mulhouse and get access to the network and activities of the project partners of Interreg Oberrhein 4.0 “Especially the participation in the BE 4.0 fair in Mulhouse is a great opportunity for us to get into direct contact with our target group”, says Leo Schittenhelm of BLP Digital AG.
David Lanter of Tinamu Labs AG says: “The structured application and selection process was important to reflect our current business strategy and to fill gaps in our path to the market. Thanks to the contributions of the experts, we are now well prepared for the next steps.”
Solutions for digital transformation
The participants were also able to benefit in other areas. “The i4Challenge gave me the opportunity to practice the presentation of our product to people from outside the company. I also dealt intensively with areas that normally do not fall within my area of activity, thus gaining valuable insights,” says Simone Arnold from SEW Eurodrive.
Companies from Switzerland, the Upper Rhine region in Baden-Württemberg and Alsace were eligible to apply. Thirty-two applicants had submitted a solution from the field of Industry 4.0 and digital transformation. The expert jury then made a pre-selection from 6 SMEs and 12 startups, from which the six winning projects emerged.
Basel Area Business & Innovation supports companies in identifying and tackling the challenges of industrial transformation. The i4Challenge helps to present suitable solutions and at the same time gives participants the opportunity to make contact with partners and mentors, initiate cooperation and win customers.
Marcel Schuck from No Touch Robotics GmbH appreciated the intensive exchange already during the application process. He particularly benefited from the open and constructive feedback and the opportunity to exchange ideas with i4Challenge partners. “Now we are very much looking forward to further developing our company through the mentoring. »
i4Challenge also invites participants in the “New Ideas” category to apply. This category is open to students, intrapreneurs, entrepreneurs and technical teams. The closing date for applications is November 2, 2020.
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