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Start-up Innovation News | March 2022

Germany's vibrant start-up scene is creating digital innovations in areas as diverse as pregnancy apps, robotics and feature film sound and special effects production.

Paderborn start-up develops robotics configurator for SMEs

Paderborn start-up Unchained Robotics has developed an online robotics configurator tool that allows SME clients to virtually build and price automation solutions by specifying project parameters. A broad array of robots, gripers, cameras and more can then be purchased from the company’s own cross-brand marketplace. The start-up also provides pre-built robot cell turnkey solutions to address common industrial automation use cases as part of its strategy to make industrial automation more attractive to small and medium-sized enterprises.  

DE:Hub Journey brings midsized companies and start-ups together

The Digital Hub Initiative of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action is bringing SMEs and start-ups together to create best cases for co-innovation as part of its “DE:HUB Journey” platform. Participants in the scheme work together to jointly develop technological potential and business models that can then be applied by the partnering companies. Two recent examples of companies that have benefited from the format are KRONE and Essel Germany. KRONE is an integral part of the Digital Hub Logistics in Hamburg where project collaboration focuses on process, product and business model innovations. In Dresden, Digital Hub Smart Systems member Essel Germany is contributing to co-innovation in areas including manufacturing and packaging as part of a Silicon Saxony project. The Digital Hub Initiative consists of 12 Digital Hubs located across the country. The initiative promotes innovation by supporting partnerships between SMEs and larger companies from the science and start-up scene.

Karslruhe start-ups develop AI medical diagnostics tool

Karlsruhe start-up medicalvalues has developed an AI-based diagnostic assistant for medical practitioners. The platform allows doctors to detect diseases earlier and in a more targeted manner by collating all of the relevant medical data in one location. Intelligent algorithms and medically validated diagnostic paths help medical professionals make better diagnoses. Another Karlsruhe start-up, askui, part of the Digital Hub Initiative Germany, is helping develop test automation using artificial intelligence to simulate human testers. "askui is a very innovative and ambitious startup that has developed strongly in a very short time and has integrated perfectly into our start-up community. A prime example of a young and aspiring high-tech startup," says Nico Hildmann, who supported askui as a start-up consultant for over a year as part of the CyberLab Accelerator. The solution supports medical practices, clinics and laboratories to promote knowledge transfer among experts across medical facilities. The application is currently being implemented as part of a pilot project in a number of university hospitals and laboratories before its official launch.

Munich healthtech start-up secures EUR 5 million in seed financing

Munich-based healthtech start-up Climedo has secured EUR 5 million in a recent seed financing round. Climedo has developed a digital platform on which data from clinical studies can be centrally administered. The decentralized and modular platform is a digital solution for the swift collection of clinical data for faster implementation, improved data quality and better patient engagement. The company plans to use the injection of capital for product development purposes as well as its European market expansion objectives.

Babelsberg firms help Matrix to Oscar shortlist

Two Babelsberg start-ups have helped “The Matrix Resurrections” film to two Oscar shortlist places. The film, the fourth in the Matrix series, has made the shortlist for prizes in the Sound and Visual Effects categories. Volucap and Rotor Film were entrusted with the sound production and visual effects for the film – made in Babelsberg last year – by director Lana Wachowski. Volucap developed world-class volumetric camera systems for the film. The technology allows filmmakers to retroactively change camera positions, allowing them to look behind actors or create new camera movements. "Volucap is a flagship start-up of the MediaTech Hub community and the first and only volumentric studio on the European mainland,” says Andrea Wickleder, Hub Manager of the MediaTech Hub Potsdam and part of the Digital Hub Initiative Germany. “The new technology enables innovative forms of presentation for film and industry. It was founded for commercial use by the shareholders ARRI Cine Technik und Co. KG, Interlake System GmbH, Studio Babelsberg AG and Fraunhofer HHI and sets the basis for narrative forms that revolutionize cinema and the whole media production.” A total of six films funded by the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg currently have a real chance of winning one of the prestigious film prizes. 

SpinLab accelerator helps pregnancy app to success

An app that helps expectant mothers during their pregnancy is now available as a medically certified product from 25 insurance companies. The Keleya digital birth preparation course provides expectant mothers with information in structured modules presented by gynecologists, physiotherapists and fitness instructors. Keleya was born after its founder Victoria Engelhardt was selected for the SpinLab accelerator program which provided access to and collaboration with AOK Plus, one of Germany’s largest health insurance providers. "The collaboration between Keleya and AOK PLUS is a big success made possible through the Smart Infrastructure Hub. Keleya joined our program SpinLab - The HHL Accelerator and won AOK PLUS as one of its very first partners. The result of the joint effort was a highly innovative pregnant support course for upcoming parents" says Dr. Eric Weber, Managing director and SpinLab CEO at the Digital Hub in Leipzig, part of the Digital Hub Initiative Germany. The partnership between the Berlin start-up and AOK Plus since 2017 helped launch the first digital childbirth education course of its kind in the country.

Dortmund wins “European Capital of Innovation“ 2021 prize

The city of Dortmund has won the “iCapital Award 2021 – European Capital of Innovation” prize for its successes in the development of logistics, science and business networking and dynamic start-up culture. This comes hot on the heels of the Digital Hub Logistics Dortmund claiming first place as the best hub in Europe in the European Digital Innovation Hubs Champions’ Challenge just two years ago. Dortmund saw off competition from seven other cities to secure the EUR 1 million first prize. "With the Digital Hub Logistics, we are making a significant contribution to accelerating the digital transformation in an extremely important economic sector for Dortmund," says Hub Managing Director Thorsten Hülsmann. "At the same time, our innovation ecosystem is where the threads for the collaboration of corporations, medium-sized companies and founders with scientific institutions come together, including TU Dortmund and Dortmund's two Fraunhofer Institutes."

5-HT Digital Hub Chemistry & Health supports US start-up

A US start-up that has developed a predictive chemistry AI platform to increase product development times is enjoying the support of the 4-HT Digital Hub Chemistry & Health as it seeks to expand its client base in Europe. Alchemy has developed a software-as-a-service platform that digitalizes chemistry lab work and processes the results using AI to accelerate innovation and product development times. According to the company, customer lab workflows can be digitalized in less than 90 days. Speaking to the hub, Alchemy CPO Marko Gacesa said that “We aim to use the 5-HT X-Linker to facilitate networking and meetings with leading chemical companies seeking faster time-to-market and optimized innovation.”

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