GreenTech for DB

Let’s take Deutsche Bahn’s sustainability to the next level together! We are excited to announce this unique startup program, which focuses on sustainable and breakthrough solutions for our most valuable asset – our planet!

To achieve this, we are looking for innovative approaches that can range from sustainable materials to circular design and energy savings to issues such as healthy forests and microclimates around our stations. We are open to all technologies that help Deutsche Bahn (DB) to become an even greener company.

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?

  • EUR 25,000, no equity taken
  • Exclusive access to DB experts, data and markets
  • The opportunity to live test your solution with the environment of our corporate Deutsche Bahn
  • 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, Europe’s largest mobility and infrastructure provider.

Questions? Check out our FAQs.


Sustainable materials

Whether on the track, in the trains, in or around stations – Deutsche Bahn uses a wide variety of materials. To achieve our goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2040, we need sustainable solutions for these materials. We are looking for ways to make the construction materials used in refurbishment, conversion and new construction projects as climate-friendly as possible. In addition, we are interested in any new innovations in the field of sustainable materials as well as the possibility to bind carbon dioxide in materials and products.

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Max Lautenschläger
Sustainable building materials

We are looking for sustainable building materials to make our construction sites even more environmentally friendly. For this purpose, we are looking for building materials such as concrete and steel (especially for solid construction and highly scalable) as well as materials for noise control and all other sustainable materials used on construction sites.

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Faruk Hosseini
Carbon capture, utilization and storage

Carbon capture, utilization and storage can contribute to our goal of climate neutrality. Reusing or capturing carbon dioxide in materials or products could contribute to the challenge of what to do with captured emissions. We are therefore looking for promising innovative solutions for this technological approach to implement at DB.

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Volker Emersleben
Sustainable materials

We are also on the lookout for sustainable materials outside of construction. Are there any novel materials we should know about that are environmentally friendly, compostable, or have improved properties that lead to a greener footprint? If so, let us know!


Climate & environment

Deutsche Bahn is constantly addressing the issues of climate and the environment in various places. Whether it’s the microclimate at train stations, temperature conditions in maintenance plants, the health and biodiversity of DB’s forests or the climate change in general, there are constantly new challenges that need to be addressed. This requires innovation and we are looking for startups and their solutions which make it possible to tackle the most diverse problems in these areas.

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Faruk Hosseini
(Micro) climate understanding

The microclimate in and especially around train stations and their forecourts and other facilities plays an important role in the well-being of passengers during their stay. To improve it, it is important to understand it properly. Therefore, we are looking for analysis tools and sensor technologies that help us in achieving this task.

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Hartmut-Joachim Sigrist
(Micro) climate control

Innovative solutions are needed to control the microclimate inside stations or outside maintenance facilities. The range of interest spans from sustainable air-conditioning technologies, to innovative natural regulation eg. by efficiently growing plants on roofs and walls or pragmatic solutions to automatically regulate tens of thousands of heating systems.

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Wolfgang Klee
Healthy forests and environment

Many people associate DB with trains and tracks, but we also have thousands of hectares of forest and green spaces along the tracks. We are looking for solutions that help strengthen nature and improve biodiversity and species diversity. Solutions to increase heat resilience with nature-based solutions are also interesting.



With a rail network of over 38,000 km and more than 5,000 stations, German railways have extremely high energy consumption. In recent years, Deutsche Bahn has increasingly focused on the area of energy efficiency, developing innovative solutions to exploit its potential. Nevertheless, we see potential to improve ourselves even further in this area. To this end, we are looking for innovative startup solutions from the energy sector.

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Claus Weber

With an increasing percentage of renewable energies in the energy grids, it is becoming more and more important to keep energy generation and demand in balance. That's why we at DB are looking for digital solutions for demand-side-management. The major focus is on the interaction between energy infrastructure and consumers (such as trains) in order to digitally manage network utilization.

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Volker Emersleben
Climate-friendly process heat

We are looking for solutions to supply process heating with environmentally friendly energy. The goal is to avoid carbon dioxide. Energy carriers such as hydrogen are conceivable but we are also open for other innovative solutions!

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Georg Wagner
Topographical data for energy-efficient driving

Detailed information on the topographical conditions and track geometry is required to calculate driving recommendations for energy-efficient driving. This information is often not available in Europe in the required quality, so that DB Cargo's driver assistance system can currently only be used in Germany. Based on train GPS data, freely available network information and operating data, it is to be determined whether the required topographical data can be calculated or determined in a suitable quality.


Sustainable & circular design

As a large corporation, Deutsche Bahn has countless internal processes that could be made even more efficient in terms of sustainability. Whether it is the procurement of materials, the development of a circular economy, the planning of projects or the overall life cycle analysis of greenhouse gas emissions, DB is trying to make sustainability potential visible and exploit it at various points.

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Oliver Lang
Sustainability optimized planning

The digitization of planning has come a long way at DB. Methods such as Building Information Modeling are established. We are looking for solutions that promote sustainability in the planning process to make DB greener even at this early stage of the project. In the area of solid construction, we are particularly interested in the possibility of comparing variants and potential savings.

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Faruk Hosseini
Circular economy

We are looking at a variety of solutions to promote the circular economy at DB. These include solutions such as platforms for the reuse of components and materials, a material passport for vehicle components in our ICE fleet, or other useful approaches.

Deutsche Bahn AG / Susanne Tost

To ensure resource efficiency and sustainable use of materials and resources, we are looking for solutions to recycle and reuse waste or by-products from maintenance operations. This inlcudes solutions for liquids and oils, material recycling for 3D printing or other useful approaches.

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Oliver Lang
Life cycle analysis on GHG emissions

We are looking for a solution to perform a life cycle analysis of the greenhouse gas emissions of DB construction projects. The goal is to make sustainability measurable, especially in very early project phases.


Other green solutions

Deutsche Bahn is trying to become a little greener every day. The clusters mentioned above form the current focus areas. Nevertheless, we are open to breakthrough innovations that accelerate our green journey and take it to the next level!

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Volker Emersleben
Green IT

We are looking for solutions in the field of Green IT to implement environmental, resource, and climate protection in the face of increasing digitization. This could include ideas such as resource-efficient software development, utilizing tools for code quality, powering data centers with renewable energy, achieving CO2 savings through software architecture or other useful approaches.

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Volker Emersleben
Further solutions

Do you have a solution that makes DB even greener and doesn't fit the above clusters? Share it with us and apply here!


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 the 100 day Proof-of-Concept to develop and test your prototype with DB

15. Feb. 2024

End of program

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