This year for the first time, technology company Continental has sent out invitations to an international industry hackathon. Startups from four different areas will look for creative ideas and innovative solutions in the industrial sector at the industry fair Hannover Messe. “Technological innovations are the lubricating oil and fuel for making industrial companies competitive and fit for the future. Together with our almost 150 years of expertise and a fresh outside perspective, we will form and drive new ideas, from which new products or business models could arise,” explains Hans-Jürgen Duensing, member of the Continental Executive Board responsible for the ContiTech division and host at the world’s largest industrial trade fair. In a startup corner specially integrated into the booth, talented young people, lateral thinkers and creative minds from Hanover, Hamburg, San Luis Potosí (Mexico) and Bucharest (Romania) will work on the future, together with Continental experts, over three days.
“We are using the Hannover Messe as an ideas factory and think tank,” says Christoph Seeger, who is responsible for the Innovation and Digitalization department in the ContiTech division created in January 2018, explaining the company’s motivation. Those participating in this collaborative event are working in parallel in four teams to develop ideas for logistical or intralogistical applications, and will be supported by Continental experts in drive belts, conveyor belt systems, industrial tires and industrial hoses. They will also be guided through the nine different stages of a design-thinking method to find specific solutions for application-focused approaches and solutions. At the end of the third day, all of the ideas will be presented to a jury. The winning idea, which we will then further develop together, will be determined there by means of a live vote at the booth.
International young talent searching for industrial solutions
Lower Saxony startup Smavoo from Hanover specializes in solutions concerning the industrial Internet of Things. It manufactures smart sensors and is an expert in the fields of production and logistics, as well as the entire digital value chain. These pioneers from Continental’s birthplace bring with them their expertise in process automation, the smart factory, and the entire digital value chain.
Breeze Technologies, a new company from Hamburg, develops environmental sensors that contribute to improving air quality. Their intelligent applications ensure clean air in office buildings and urban environments, for example. The sensors use real-time analyses and big data technologies, among other things, to measure air pollution from ozone, carbon oxides and nitrogen oxide. The technology is already being used in pilot projects. Hamburg is the second most attractive city for startups and is in the top 10 worldwide.
With high expertise in process automation, Target Robotics, from San Luis Potosí, Mexico, is taking part in the hackathon. Target Robotics researches and develops robotic automation systems, replacing conventional and old technology machinery. Being disruptive, but using simple mechanical concepts and robotics technology, supporting efficient processes. The innovative systems increase productivity at exponential levels.
The startup company CBN Agro.Tech from Bucharest offers experience in predictive monitoring in agriculture. They ensure that crop yields are protected and do not spoil in storage. These innovators from Romania’s top city for innovators are specialists in cloud-based Industry 4.0 automation processes, such as temperature monitoring and automated ventilation in silos. This system even eliminates condensation under the roof.
In addition to external collaborations, Continental also promotes its employees’ innovation potential and entrepreneurial spirit. Continental had already formed a startup program in 2017. Its goal is to give employees and external entrepreneurs a chance to develop and bring to market new business concepts, assisted by Continental’s expertise, mentoring and financial support. The technology company will also offer its employees an innovation challenge that actively includes internal young talents and innovators, especially for the Hannover Messe.