Skip to content

Digital Catapult launches UK Germany Global Challenge in partnership with Deutschland – Land der Ideen, Siemens and CHEP Europe to drive international collaboration for industrial innovation and sustainability

Posted 23 Jan 2020

The first ever Digital Catapult Global Challenge for the UK & Germany launched today, connecting exciting high growth potential startup businesses in both countries with industry, forging international collaboration for innovation and sharing knowledge to address some of the key challenges and opportunities facing the industrial sector.

With a focus on the potential for artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and distributed ledger technologies (DLT) to drive change within industrial settings, Digital Catapult has partnered with Deutschland – Land der Ideen, a nation branding initiative by the German Federal Government and German industry aiming to make Germany’s innovative strength more visible, and leading global industrial companies Siemens and CHEP Europe, to find pioneering startups and small businesses to help explore opportunities around sustainability and new business models in the industrial sector.

Jeremy Silver, CEO, Digital Catapult said: “International cooperation is fundamental to innovation, and what better way to start the new decade than by launching this transformational project that brings together the brightest talent from the UK and Germany. The phenomenal success of past initiatives run by Digital Catapult shows the clear opportunity to scale the innovative ideas necessary to tackle the big challenges faced by industry. We’re proud to be working with Deutschland – Land der Ideen, Siemens, and CHEP Europe, alongside the UK and German Governments, as we launch this exciting international innovation challenge to engage the most interesting and pioneering small technology companies in these two countries.”

Ute E. Weiland, CEO of Deutschland – Land der Ideen, said: “Innovation is the motor for solving social challenges. In this respect, Germany is highly dependent on the exchange with other countries. We can only maintain our position in global competition through international dialogue, especially when it comes to modern technologies such as the use of blockchain. The Global Challenge is the ideal platform for this.”

Digital Minister Matt Warman said: “From helping us be more productive at work to tackling climate change, technology has incredible potential to improve all our lives. This new programme from the Digital Catapult will provide a platform for UK and German startups to work together and come up with cutting-edge solutions to future challenges. It’s great to see big firms including Siemens and CHEP Europe back the initiative and I encourage all interested organisations to apply.”

Science Minister Chris Skidmore said: “Artificial Intelligence and data science are transforming how our world works, bringing efficiencies and introducing smarter ways of working to businesses across the world. This competition is a fantastic way for the UK’s most exciting data science companies to collaborate with their German counterparts and industry, working together across borders to tackle global challenges.”

Following the success of Digital Catapult’s international challenge-led project between the UK and Canada in 2019 with Bombardier, the Digital Catapult Global Challenge for the UK & Germany will set two challenges – one from Siemens and one from CHEP Europe – focused on how data can provide greater insight to inform new business models and improve future product design, drive productivity and improve efficiency, and minimise the supply chain’s carbon footprint by optimising logistics forecasting.

Siemens began in Germany in 1847, and over 170 years later as the largest industrial manufacturing company in Europe, it continues to create industrial solutions through electrification, automation and digitalisation. Siemens Digital Industries Motion Control (headquartered in Erlangen, Germany) at its UK site at Congleton undertakes product design and manufacturing of over a million industrial drives and option modules each year for worldwide markets.

CHEP Europe manages, maintains, transports, and supplies over 300 million platforms, such as pallets and containers, which support the construction, handling and transport of efficient and sustainable product loads across the supply chain.

Organisations in the UK and Germany working with artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, as well as those working with distributed ledger technologies such as blockchain, are encouraged to apply here where this is also further information about each of the challenges. The deadline for applications is 16 February 2020, apply here.

The successful startups for each challenge will have the opportunity to:

  • Meet with key internal people in each of the challenge owner organisations
  • Pitch to influential stakeholders and leading industry judges
  • The potential for future collaboration with two of Europe’s leading industrial companies

The Digital Catapult Global Challenge for UK & Germany has been developed together with the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department for International Trade, and is supported by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) Science and Innovation Network (SIN). Partners for the project include the Royal Academy of Engineering, CBI, MTA, Innoloft, London & Partners and NVIDIA.