Future of Operations & Maintenance 2023

DB mindbox is excited to run its Future of Operations & Maintenance (FOM) program together with strong partners as DB Netz and DB Station & Service.

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

  • Access to DB experts and data
  • Access to a network of selected coaching and mentoring experts
  • EUR 25,000, no equity taken.

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, Europe’s largest mobility and infrastructure provider.

Questions? Check out our FAQs.


Optimization of blocking time (Sperrzeiten)

Our complex rail infrastructure requires a great deal of planning and organization. In order to guarantee timetable stability, optimal integration of the construction sites into railway operations must be ensured.

​For our upcoming program „Future of Operations & Maintenance 2023“, DB Netz is looking for solutions that can determine and optimize the use of blocking times as well as the duration of the closure of a track due to planned and executed work on its construction sites.

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Patrick Kuschfeld
Construction process simulation​

Imagine you are given one night of time on a track section with a lot of maintenance issues. Can you simulate all sorts of maintenance & construction work to determine the optimum level of and sequencing for parallel work going on? ​

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Uwe Miethe
Construction planning workflow tool​

Can you provide a workflow tool which assists in gathering data on required maintenance tasks and corresponding resource requirements to match both sides to an optimum? Help us find an optimization tool in order to improve our maintenance strategy.​

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Max Zimmermann
Data collection

Closing down a track section is always heavily impacting our operations, so we would like to choose the right timing wisely. We are convinced that our IT systems contain treasures whose benefits are not maximized. How can we effectively identify optimum timeslots based on new ways of data collection across our systems? ​

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Volker Emersleben
Blocking time planning​

Do you have other innovative ideas on how to schedule the blocking times on route sections on a long-term basis? How can we optimize the planning of these blocking times? Fire away, we would love to improve.​


Digitalisation of the track section manual (Betriebsstellenbuch)​

The track section manual (Betriebsstellenbuch) gathers all important information about a certain track section or operating site. These sections or sites can be basic tracks with their enabling infrastructure like overhead wires and electrical assets. But they can also be “Berlin Hauptbahnhof” and thus somewhat complex.

We are looking for a tool provided by true documentation enthusiasts to assist our colleagues in assembling the manual and keeping it up to date. As automated as it can be!


Remote battery diagnostic & monitoring​

Wet batteries are used in both relay and electronic interlockings and serve as a transitional buffer until the emergency diesel unit starts to operate. The acid level and density as well as the total voltage of the batteries must be checked regularly in tight inspection intervals, which we want to make more efficient through remote inspection. 

The functionality and safety of our infrastructure is of upmost  importance, that is why we are searching for your ideas to improve its reliability and prevent critical failures.  

Do you have an innovative solution? We are looking forward to hearing from you!


Digital process optimization tools

DB Station & Service is taking steps to further extend the capabilities when it comes to BIM (Building Information Modeling), Digital Twins and Data Integrity. For that, we are looking for innovate solutions in several key processes, ensuring optimized operation and eliminating time-consuming work steps by automating them with digital approaches.

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Max Lautenschläger​
Automatic object recognition from point clouds

To help modernizing the process of building and extending our railway stations, we need ways to quickly identify objects within point clouds and integrate them into our BIM workflow.​

​© Deutsche Bahn AG / Jannik Walter
Automated model checking

To further improve our building processes, we want to find a solution to automatically check model date regarding minimum requirements of the LOD/LOI and substance quality check according to the existing guidelines. We’d love to see your ideas and innovations regarding this topic!

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Max Lautenschläger
Data format integration for digital twin​ ​

Due to incompatible file formats, we increasingly stumble across the problem of integrating new components into our existing models. With a suitable solution, we could speed up updates of the digital twins at our stations and improve the implementation of this process through better visualization.​ We are curious about your solutions!​


Leveraging collective intelligence for informed decision making and employee engagement

DB Netz would like to make even better use of the knowledge and experience of its employees. Therefore, we are looking for a solution that brings employees and decision-makers closer together, preferably in real time. ​

What should the perfect solution be able to do?

  • Making predictions based on employee experience (incident durations, Lost Units development, bottlenecks in handling processes…)​
  • Supporting the decision-making process (“real-time” opinion formation, decision preparation)​
  • General information management (expert definition, networking)​
  • Innovation finding and evaluation​
  • Obtaining feedback, motivating, supporting change processes​

You think you have an innovative, agile solution for us? Then don’t hesitate and apply now – we’re looking forward to hearing from you!


04. Dec. 2022

Application deadline

Last day to apply for the program

19. Dec. 2022

Announcement of candidates

Invitation of selected teams

19. Jan. 2023

Selection day

Pitch your solution live on stage to a jury and audience.

25. Jan. 2023

Selection day

Pitch your solution live on stage to a jury and audience. Focus on the search field Digitalisation of the track section manual (Betriebsstellenbuch)​.

20. Feb. 2023

Start of program

Start of the 100 day PoC phase to test a prototype in cooperation with DB