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Startup Innovation News | October 2021

Start-ups and scale-ups from Germany are constantly in the headlines. Sometimes the efforts of smaller start-ups go unnoticed. Here we showcase selected start-up developments worthy of attention.

Making green hydrogen affordable

Dortmund start-up WEW Hydrogen is planning to make green hydrogen more affordable by providing its electrolysers to plant manufacturers and system integrators. The prohibitive costs of complete electrolyser packages are a major obstacle to prospective hydrogen producers – WEW Hydrogen’s business model allows individual electrolysers to be integrated into complete systems thereby allowing more actors to participate in the rapidly growing hydrogen market.

Wireless charging for mobile robots and electric vehicles

Freiburg start-up Wiferion is developing wireless charging systems for mobile robots and electric vehicles. Established in 2015 as Blue Inductive, the Fraunhofer ISE spin-off received development support from the European Climate KIC accelerator prior to product launch and market entry in 2018. The company’s inductive charging technology allows lithium batteries to be charged at a distance of up to 20 centimeters through the air. This is particularly advantageous for mobile robots in production and logistics environments. To date the company has sold more than 3,000 systems to car manufacturers making it the market leader in this sector. The company also markets data including battery charge levels, battery health and temperature to clients for robot fleet management and maintenance.

Self-learning search engine provides solution for enterprises

A start-up located in Aachen has developed a self-learning enterprise search engine that allows employees to scan company servers for hard-to-find information and documents. AmbeRoad believes that its artificial intelligence solution’s ability to understand text content and recognize images will allow it to stand out in the enterprise search market. The company, which believes its solution can save up to one hour per week per employee, has already found customers in the RAG mining group and Siemens Energy.

AI scanning robot solution for supermarkets

A University of Bremen spin-off start-up has developed an autonomous scanning robot for use in stationary fast-moving consumer goods retail environments. Ubica Robotics’ scanning robots autonomously navigate through stores after closing time, capturing inventory with camera systems that process the collected images into a “digital twin” of the store using artificial intelligence software. The data collected allows retailers to perform a range of in-store optimization processes that increase efficiency and competitiveness. The initial idea for the autonomous scanning robot is based on the results of a European research project to improve supermarket logistics in which the Institute for Artificial Intelligence at the University of Bremen was involved.

Lübeck start-up’s navi app provides a safe and pleasant drive

A start-up in Lübeck has developed a navigation services app that can flag up challenging and dangerous road conditions. A range of parameters including street conditions, climate, weather, and traffic are evaluated to help create personal driving route preferences in real time. As well as being a handy tool for the individual driver, Bareways believes that its app can also help commercial fleet managers to save time and reduce costs when scheduling delivery services in rural areas.

Intelligent medication dosing system

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) is currently funding an R&D project by CompWare Medical to develop a digital medication management dispensing system. The intelligent dispenser allows users to take their prescribed medication on time and in the correct dose according to a medication plan monitored by the administering pharmacy. There are currently ten million people in Germany who take five or more different medications on a daily basis. The maja sana solution provides users with a visual or aural prompt to take their medication as well as automatically informing care providers, emergency services and relatives in cases where there are problems or medication has not been taken as prescribed. The cloud-based solution will see all medical data stored on German services to ensure data security.

University spin-off’s video AI solution for recruiters

A start-up spin-off from the University of Munich has developed an AI solution to help employers successfully recruit employees. Retorio evaluates applicant facial expressions, gestures, speech and voice using a standard model of personality research using questions set by the recruiting company. The Munich-based start-up believes that the AI solution can also help personnel development activities by properly identifying potential improvement areas.

Bremen start-up mapping the oceans

Oceans cover two thirds of the planet’s surface but 95 percent of its seafloor areas remain uncharted. Bremen-based start-up Planblue is standardizing seafloor monitoring using real-time automated tools in order to create a seafloor database that will help combat climate change and pollution. Underwater satellite devices armed high-resolution camera and sensors record seabed conditions, allowing carbon dioxide to be sequestered in the ocean and coastal restoration or reforestation. Planblue is a spin-off company from the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology (MPI-MM) in Bremen. The company’s four founders established the operation in 2017 with support from the EXIST Start-up program and the Climate KIC accelerator.

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