Future of Operations & Maintenance 2021

DB mindbox is excited to run its FOM program together with a number of strong partners as DB Netz AG, DB Systemtechnik, DB Regio and DB Fahrzeuginstandhaltung.

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

  • 100 days
  • access to real data, real projects, and real project managers
  • access to a network of selected coaching and mentoring experts
  • and 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 AG.

Questions? Check out our FAQs.


Smart Staff-Support

Our daily task is to maintain more than 400 trains. Help us to take our service to the next level by actively supporting our employees with your technology.

Autonomous Visual Inspection

We are looking for a camera-based AI system which is able to analyze the gathered footage to substitute our manual inspections.

Cobots for Shopfloor Assistance

Support our shopfloor workers with a cobot assistance solution for heavy duty tasks like lifting and bolt tightening.

Autonomous Maintenance Robots

Design a robo-helper for our depots which can tighten bolts/screws, empty liquid containers and measure quantity while feeding the data into our SAP system.

Depot Scheduling Transparency

Support our maintenance workers in our depots with their to dos as they do not always know what's next on their list and where that will need to be done. Can you build links to SAP and other systems to provide a digital solution that helps workers prepare for the next task at hand?


Process Optimization

At Deutsche Bahn 320,000 employees are transporting thousands people from one place to another a day. To ensure our customers a safe and comfortable journey, we need innovative solutions to deploy the personnel and material resources efficiently.

Innovative Digital Training

Help us bring state of the art digital learning to our colleagues: Let's design tools to increase attractiveness of studying the rules of our complex railway world.

Digital Operating Field

Design a simulation environment to train new colleagues in railway operations: dispatchers, train drivers and other operations staff should be able to train their interaction as realistically as possible - almost like a computer game.

Knowledge Capturing For Best Practice

Help us capture unwritten know-how among our maintenance staff, merge it with SAP data on vehicle history to provide best practices for any maintenance situation to everybody at all times.

Stopping Time Adherence

Can you think of ways to reduce exceeding of stopping times at our stations? Bring your ideas eg on passenger guidance and smoother people flow or other innovative solutions to the table.



Deutsche Bahn not only wants to detect errors faster but also fix them even more thoroughly to improve punctuality and service. To achieve this, it relies on the latest algorithms and new ways of prediction to prevent defects before they even occur.

Predictive Analytics

Help us to make the transition from interval-based to condition-based maintenance to detect defects before they even occur.

Remote Support for Field Workers

Bring our centralised expert knowledge virtually on-site to our field workers without the need to travel.

Rail Tire Inspection

Improve our maintenance by analyzing and detecting irregularities of rail tires.


Monitoring of processes, trains and infrastructure

One of the main tasks of Deutsche Bahn is to monitor its comprehensive infrastructure. Therefore we are looking for new and innovative technologies and hardware solutions to constantly optimize processes and guarantee operations.

Track Process Mining

Help us identify, monitor and improve processes and extract knowledge from current data.

Cable & Fibre Monitoring

Provide possibilites to analyze our cables and fibres for a fast detection and rectification of defects.

Rail Elongation Implication

Combine existing fault reports with ambient factor data (weather etc.) and derive insights on where to focus our countermeasures.

Construction Data Structuring

Find a way to reorganize our construction data and find the right document as easily as possible.


Smart Tech

Deutsche Bahn moves about 2 billion people every year. Support us in this task by facilitating our daily business with the newest technology and smartest materials.


Work with us to improve the positioning of our trains, infrastructure, and devices as accurately as possible.

Intelligent Sensors

Help us advance our infrastructure and equip it with the latest sensor technology.

Talking Infrastructure

Get our infrastructure to let us know if something is needed or if it is in danger of breaking down soon.

Smart Materials // Tactile Displays

SM: Share your idea on how we can develop our materials to become even smarter in maintenance and production. // TD: We are looking for a tactile display solution inside our trains to display important journey relating information for our visually impaired passengers.



Operating a company like Deutsche Bahn is a heavy-duty job. Hence, finding innovative ways with you on how we can operate our system more efficiently is our goal.

Energy Consumption Prediction

Forecast the energy consumption of our trains in varying situations to run our trains even more efficiently and sustainably.

Radio Coverage

Prototype a sensor solution to generate compliant GSM-R measurements along our tracks and enable seamless data feeding into our databases.

Intelligent Loading System (Sylt Shuttle)

Optimise the logistics around our Sylt Shuttle terminals by bringing together data from different sources (e.g. existing car-detection cameras) to calculate a real-time optimal loading system with a timing & navigation system for arriving passengers.

Optimized field staff assignment

Combine the skills of our employees with the requirements of our systems to enable the best possible allocation of our staff.



Application Deadline

Last day to apply for the program


Announcement of Candidates

Invitation of selected teams


Selection day

In Berlin


Start of Program

You will get three months to develop and test a prototype in cooperation with the companies. Starting date is still subject to change.


End of Program

End of program and presentation of your results