Construction Site Tech: Digital Awakening

Nine established companies of the railway construction industry are looking for innovative startup ideas to progress together.

A constant progress and an increase in digitization are high priority goals in the modern construction industry. Since these goals can be better achieved in cooperation, the "Future Initiative of Railway Construction" (Zukunftsinitiative Bahnbau) was founded at the beginning of 2019 by both the construction industry and the railway industry together with Deutsche Bahn. However, this emerging cross-company collaboration shall not be limited to large companies - also small companies or startups that provide innovative products and future technologies, are invited to disrupt the railway construction industry.

Therefore, nine established companies of this initiative are looking together with DB mindbox for new startup solutions. During the DB mindbox 100-day program the startups develop Proof of Concepts (PoC) for those companies, which in turn lays the foundation for joint projects and successful collaborations. Additionally, startups receive 25.000€ and access to a network of selected coaching and mentoring experts. 

We would like to especially encourage applications from startups that offer solutions for the phases of execution during construction projects. To narrow this down, we are specifically looking for solutions within the following areas:

Digital inspection

For a realistic planning and reasonable evaluation of construction projects, it is of utmost importance to have a thorough collection and documentation of local circumstances, initial conditions and tasks performed. Status information must be fully captured and documented in a reasonable manner right from the start. The information must then be updated on a regular basis. Hence, we are looking for prospective solutions that simplify, automate and improve status logs and progress documentations.

New hardware solutions

For the automatic or semi-automatic recording of local conditions and current statuses, innovative hardware systems are crucial. We are looking for powerful new solutions in the field of sensor technology, measuring instruments and assisting equipment, such as highly developed ground radar systems, concrete sensors.

Intelligent status documentation

We are looking for intelligent software solutions to analyse previously recorded data, such as image files that were generated by drones. We are also looking for solutions that combine data from different sensors intelligently and thus generate additional insights.

Progress monitoring during construction

We are looking for new ways of automatic progress documentation during construction. This includes e.g. the automatic recording of the use of construction machinery and an intelligent documentation of all operations carried out by different contractors.

Other solutions?

Does your startup work on any other visionary idea how construction site conditions or the progress of construction projects can be logged or assessed even better in the future? Please tell us about it - we‘re happy to learn more.


In many industries, disruptive improvements have already been achieved using autonomous machines. There is also great potential for automated and robot-assisted services in railway construction technology. Whether individual process steps or entire process chains - innovative autonomous solutions are attractive for numerous operations in construction projects.

Robotics for specific tasks

We are looking for robots that can carry out individual process steps autonomously. This also includes highly advanced machinery, instruments or tools that are controlled remotely. Of specific interest are solutions for autonomous welding, grinding or cleaning.

Autonomous process control

We are also looking for innovative solutions for autonomous control and (partly) autonomous execution of more complex process chains such as service trains for the exchange of tracks or other components.

Automatic care and maintenance

Show us how your robots enable an intelligent and automated care and maintenance of tracks, bridges, overhead lines or other components of the railway infrastructure.

Other solutions?

You have other brilliant robots or autonomous systems that can help us? Get in touch!

Intelligent administration

The larger a construction project, the higher the number of companies, contractors and suppliers involved. In order to achieve optimal cooperation between those individual parties, reliable and easy to use documents are crucial.

Intelligent contracts

We are looking for software that can be used for a quick and easy creation, editing, completion, check and management of construction site contracts. These intelligent contracts should constantly check themselves e.g. if there are overarching legal changes. A contract should automatically report or auto-update in case it is affected.

Intelligent data management

With your help, we would like to optimize the document and information management of digital data, aiming for valuable long-term usability. This includes an intelligent filing system with transparent access control.

Visualization of existing data

To ensure transparent communication with all parties involved, intelligent preparation and visualization of data and information is needed.

More Ideas?

You have other great solutions for intelligent administration? Tell us more…


Application Deadline
Announcement of Candidates
Selection day
Start of Program
End of Program