Future of Construction Technologies 2023

For our new startup program, we are looking for innovative solutions for our strong partners DB Netz AG and Autobahn GmbH, which own and operate a large part of the German rail and road network.

In 2023, we have a wide spectrum of topics, ranging from technology-based inspection of our infrastructure, developing an evolving construction site, managing thousands of objections more efficiently, and detecting cables next to our tracks.

This 100 day signature program gives startups the chance to customize and live-test their solution to real challenges that DB and Autobahn are facing. What is in for you?

  • EUR 25,000, no equity taken
  • Exclusive access to DB & Autobahn experts, data and markets
  • The opportunity to live test your solution with the environment of DB & Autobahn
  • Exclusive access to a network of selected coaching and mentoring experts

You will be supported by a dedicated DB mindbox startup manager and will have 24/7 access to our coworking space.

This is a great opportunity to lay the foundation for joint projects and successful long-term collaboration with Deutsche Bahn Group and Autobahn GmbH, Europe’s largest mobility and infrastructure providers.

Questions? Check out our FAQs.


Inspection and condition monitoring technology

The inspection and maintenance of infrastructure such as bridges and noise barriers is a major task for both DB Netz AG and Autobahn GmbH.

We are looking for innovative solutions for the inspection of infrastructure on Germany’s rails and highways as well as solutions that will elevate the maintenance of bridges to the next level. This could involve innovative approaches to bridge maintenance or advancements in project management techniques.

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Uli Planz
Noise barriers

Noise barriers are inspected at regular intervals in the form of a manual inspection. We are looking for a solution that will help us to inspect noise barriers that are difficult to access. This also includes the inspection of inaccessible wall backsides or walls covered with vegetation.

© Autobahn GmbH / Maurice Kaluscha

We are looking for solutions that help us to improve the inspection process of existing bridges. The condition of the bridge should be easier to detect and even to predict. Furthermore, we aim to develop a comprehensive maintenance planning approach based on these inspections.

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Oliver Lang
Maintenance & project management systems

We are looking for a project management solution that can address the special requirements of bridge inspections and repairs. The project management solution should also help to manage the entire bridge infrastructure as a whole in order to derive the best possible maintenance strategy.

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Markus Kehnen
Other solutions

If you have another creative solution to take bridge, noise barrier and other infrastructure maintenance to the next and forward-thinking level, we'd love to hear from you!


The evolving construction site

DB Netz AG and Autobahn GmbH have several hundred construction projects every year, each of which is unique. The question, however, is how the knowledge gained from one project can be used for subsequent projects. An iterative step towards an evolving construction site is required, which could also be characterized as knowledge management.

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Volker Emersleben
Construction site management

We are looking for solutions that will help us to digitize our construction site in a way that we can capture data and make it actionable in return. Are there solutions that capture real-time experiences with processes, time required, labor, and use that information to better plan and execute the next construction site? Maybe with AI?

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Faruk Hosseini
Logistic optimization & coordination

In addition to site management, there are many external dependencies in construction projects that also need to be better managed and improved over time. Are there solutions that enable a smoother and more resilient logistics chain?

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Stefan Wildhirt
Other solutions

If you have another creative solution on how we can achieve an evolving construction site we are happy to hear from you!


Objection management with AI

DB Netz AG receives a large number of questions and objections regarding its construction projects from the public, politicians, the press, associations, interest groups and more. For individual construction projects, there may even be several thousand objections. The task is to respond to these in a qualified and comprehensive manner with the available personnel resources.

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Dominik Dupont
AI-driven objection management

We are looking for an AI-based tool that enables qualified responses to objections. Are there even solutions that can handle the entire process, including the handling of different input channels such as e-mail and letters?

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Max Lautenschläger
Assisted response phrasing

Another solution we can think of would be the assisted phrasing of answers. In this case, it is particularly important that a large number of IT interfaces to existing systems can be operated and that the greatest possible time savings are achieved.


Cable detection

Along the tracks run tens of thousands of kilometers of underground cables and lines. DB Netz is looking for technologies that detect cables such as fiber optic cables at the edge of tracks, georeference them and provide a spatial representation of the lines for further use in software.

A special circumstance is that the execution of the localization should be carried out without any blocking pauses from the railway tracks. Therefore, the technology must be carried out in confined space or from the air.

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Benjamin Kedziora
Handheld solutions

We are looking for solutions that enable us to locate cables and pipelines that run alongside the tracks in very confined spaces. Is there a mobile solution or perhaps even an autonomously operating system that can capture the location data?

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Patrick Kuschfeld
Airborne solutions

We are looking for new technologies that are able to detect and locate cables and pipelines from the air. Other heavy metals, such as railway tracks, should not affect the effect of your solution.

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Pablo Castagnola
Other approaches

If you have another creative solution for how we can locate cables and pipes next to the tracks without blocking them, we'd love to hear from you!


30. Jul. 2023

Application deadline

Last day to apply for the program (eod)

15. Aug. 2023

Announcement of candidates

Invitation of selected teams

29. Aug. 2023

Selection day

Pitch your solution live on stage to our expert jury and audience

09. Oct. 2023

Start of program

Start of 100 day Proof-of-Concept to develop and test your prototype

15. Feb. 2024

End of program

End of 100 day Proof-of-Concept and presentation of results