City of Munich Innovation Challenge
The competition opens up the city administration to innovative ideas and offers the opportunity to test and implement new concepts in a real test field.
Who has the best ideas for the city?
Every year the City of Munich runs an innovation challenge focused on topics in the field of smart cities. The aim is to open up the city administration to innovative ideas and provide an opportunity to test and implement new concepts in a real test field.
Students, founders, creative minds and all stakeholders from the startup community are called upon to come up with viable, innovative solutions to given municipal issues.
The most convincing solution will be awarded the innovation prize and will be further developed and piloted in practice together with the city administration and one of the cooperating entrepreneurship centers.
The application deadline for 2022 has expired. The next innovation competition will take place in 2023. The topics for 2023 will be announced in spring. Would you like to be notified as soon as the new competition begins? Then please register by e-mail here.
These were the 2022 topics
What form does a district station in a smart city have to take in order to provide waste management services that are low in emissions and comply with circular economy principles while giving consideration to logistical requirements?
The importance that the general public accords the issue of waste differs. While some people merely want to dispose of their waste as quickly and easily as possible, others place great value on avoiding waste or putting materials they no longer require to a useful purpose. In any event, in the interests of sustainability and making a positive contribution to environmental and climate protection, it is vital to deal with existing resources responsibly. Munich’s waste management corporation AWM therefore wants to reach all stakeholders and offer the broadest possible range of waste management services. This means easily accessible services tailored to the individual needs of citizens. The district stations across the city play an important role in this. The aim is for them to serve as meeting points that can be easily reached on foot. Services such as the “repair cafe”, lending possibilities, and sales of used goods will be centrally pooled here and easy to access. The transport of material to and from the district stations should also be designed so as to minimize traffic and CO2 emissions. Ideally, small waste collection vehicles will be able to load and unload on a subterranean level, so as not to put further strain on Munich’s land usage.
A lot of basic information on the respective districts is required so as to optimize the design of these district stations. The aim is to identify and compile this basic information, which characterizes the respective district, in the co-creation phase and apply it as a model in a test environment. The concept should also be scalable for use across the entire city.
We have outlined a possible approach in five points below. We also welcome alternative approaches.
1. Overview of districts across the entire city
- which districts already exist?
- which are being planned?
- in what order, including of priority, will they be created?
Note: preliminary work has already been carried out by other departments
2. Selecting locations for the district stations -> The aim is to be easily accessible on foot!
- is one district station per district enough?
- what existing locations/infrastructure can be used?
- do access routes for transporting material to and from the district station already exist?
3. Identify factors which are relevant to the development of suitable waste management services while considering logistical requirements (e.g. building structure, number of residents, age structure, amounts of waste, consumer behavior, available land, etc.).
4. Collect data for a test district in accordance with the factors identified in advance.
5. Design tailored examples of waste management services for the test district, e.g. for the three-ton system (reloading possibilities for small waste collection vehicles), mini recycling depots, circular spaces (swap/lending possibilities, second-hand goods store, etc.), campaigns, advice, etc.
In the longer term, it might be possible to supplement the district stations with other, multi-functional services provided by the City of Munich, such as mobility (car sharing, rental bikes, cargo bikes, charging stations), packing stations, etc. The collected data can also be used to help shape these additional services as part of an inner-city collaboration process. To this end, a digital map in which the data for each district is stored might be a useful idea.
How can the City of Munich use innovative methods to make the issues and consequences of climate change visible in the city in a clearly understandable way, and use relevant visual feedback to make all citizens aware of the topic’s importance?
Climate change is often regarded as an abstract phenomenon which is hard for the individual to comprehend. Psychological research shows that poor communication is part of the reason for this.
Innovative IT methods aim to make the climate adaptation and climate protection measures at the heart of the discussion comprehensible to the general public and to present the City of Munich’s counteractive measures to citizens neutrally and clearly.
All citizens can contribute to a climate-friendly Munich by integrating climate protection into their everyday lives. The aim is to change individual behavior patterns by raising awareness of climate change.
The approach aims to support Munich’s target of becoming climate neutral by 2035.
How can the Städtische Friedhöfe München (SFM), Munich’s cemeteries corporation, use digital visualization and the interlinking of existing data to raise their relationship to customers and visitors to a new level, thus simplifying decision-making processes and giving impetus to development processes?
The SFM have 29 cemeteries with around 260,000 graves and 11,000 burials annually. In total, this means more than 100,000 customer contacts per year. There is also contact with service providers, craft-trade workers, and religious representatives.
The SFM launched its project to digitize the cemeteries in 2020. Starting with the Waldfriedhof, every individual grave was recorded using vector data, which linked the geodata of each grave with the complete corresponding technical data in the data base of the cemetery administration. All paths, lawns, and woodland were also recorded and supplemented with data such as the locations of trash cans, benches, or wells. The aim is to provide a basis for the digitalization of all processes relating to customers, service providers, and visitors.
By developing a cemetery app the SFM wants to put a customer-friendly face on its digitalization efforts. The process links all available data, thus adding value to the various levels of interaction between the SFM and its customers.
The app will be available for all end devices.
The SFM wish to use the cemetery app to
- reshape the sales process for graves, recording customer preferences in a more precise way by means of visualization;
- improve orientation in major cemeteries via integrated navigation, so as to reduce the distance and time required to reach desired locations;
- tailor cemetery tours to visitors’ wishes;
- make allocation clusters and patterns recognizable so as to further optimize future customer services;
- depict movement patterns so as to develop new mobility concepts, e.g. for cyclists and people of limited mobility.
The city is looking for a scalable solution that can be piloted in the co-creation phase at the Munich Waldfriedhof and also be applied to other Munich cemeteries.
How can a preliminary review of the formal criteria of (drainage) plans be automated?
Before drainage systems are built or changed, drainage plans are submitted to the relevant Munich authority, the Münchner Stadtentwässerung, for approval. There is a catalog of specifications regarding form and content (“What is to be depicted?” and “How is it to be depicted?”). The submitted documents often fail to meet the requirements and have to be revised. This requires a lot of work by employees and in the worst case can mean customers’ construction projects are delayed.
Munich is looking for a digital or AI-based solution for an automated preliminary review that can provide immediate feedback on whether the plans fully and correctly meet the formal requirements. The aim is to speed up the overall approval process and thereby boost customer satisfaction. The basic technology involved should be flexible and thus adaptable to future requirements.
How can the potential of near-surface geothermal energy in Munich be used to benefit all citizens in both the private and public sphere?
Thanks to its geographic location, Munich possesses great potential in near-surface geothermal energy with low but constant temperatures and, in many areas, high density. The Munich City Utilities (Stadtwerke München) want to make greater use of this potential in the future via groundwater heating pumps and local heating networks to help with the heating transition in Munich. This process will open the door to opportunities for additional uses that further increase the degree of utilization and thus overall efficiency. The city is therefore looking for innovative ideas and approaches to making greater use of the thermal potential of near-surface groundwater in both the private and public realm. The aim is to pilot the selected solutions in a test environment in the near future.
How can the City of Munich communicate the modal split regularly, quickly, and ideally for each individual day?
Regular data on the modal split (the percentage of travelers going on foot, by bike, public transport, personal cars, car sharing) in a city helps show the degree to which people are switching from private to public transport as well as cycling and walking and is thus an instrument for measuring the success of Munich’s efforts to change transportation habits. If the evidence shows that the strategies adopted to encourage the transition to forms of transport with lower emissions and less noise pollution as well as more efficient use of space are not succeeding, i.e. are not significantly shifting the modal split towards environmentally friendly alternatives, then these strategies must be adapted to help achieve Munich’s goals: better living standards for citizens with reduced use of space, traffic, noise, and emissions, while still ensuring that journeys are as pleasant and destinations as accessible as before.
Data on the modal split is currently recorded only sporadically and the process requires great effort. The Mobility Department is therefore seeking a creative, digital solution by means of which
- the modal split among Munich citizens (within and outside Munich) and
- the modal split within Munich (among Munich and non-Munich citizens)
can be regularly and quickly recorded, ideally for each individual day. What would also be interesting is to depict the relative developments of modes of transport use via a continuous, target-focused analysis of suitable data (time series) and the development of the transport modes to each other, irrespective of “micro events” (type of day, weather, season, public events, etc.) in order to help identify relevant clusters and trends.
Particular attention should be paid to
- the long-term practicality of the solution
- data quality
- how representative the data is for Munich’s population and/or the city
- realistic financial conditions.
Due to the experimental nature of the initial implementation, the representativeness of the data during the pilot phase does not have to be specified. It should, however, be apparent that the data can be presented in a representative way.
Various digital applications and data sources, including
- lidar sensors
- tracking data (app-based)
- mobile communications data
- detector data
- traffic counting systems that differentiate various modes of transport (8+1) and
- counting of representative cross sections
have already been tested. The Mobility Department is interested in new ideas for their use as well as in completely new applications and data sources, such as the analysis of satellite and aerial images.
The proposed solutions with the greatest potential for implementation and realization will be awarded the Innovation Prize. Furthermore, prize winners will have the chance to implement and further develop their submitted concept in cooperation with the city administration and to test it in practice.
Our cooperation partners offer the award winners direct access to their entrepreneurship programs:
- the Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship
- the LMU Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center IEC
- the Entrepreneurship Center founders@unibw
- German Entrepreneurship
All finalists who present their solution to the jury will receive a financial award of EUR 500.
After completion of the implementation phase, the winners will receive an additional prize money of 2,500 EUR.
Who should apply?
Anyone involved in innovative smart city solutions is addressed, but especially founders, start-ups and students. Invited to apply are those who also want to test their ideas in practice and who would like to benefit from support within the framework of one of Munich's renowned entrepreneurship programs.
Deadline for submissions and procedure
The innovation challenge consists of a competition phase and an implementation phase.
The competition phase
- Application deadline: Sun, May 15th 2022 at 11:59 pm.
- Announcement of the finalists: beginning of June
- Jury meeting with pitches of the finalists: Thursday, July 7th, 2022
- Award ceremony: Tuesday, July 19, 2022
Applications can be submitted in German or English. For each challenge, the teams with the best solution concepts will be invited to present their proposal to the jury. The jury, consisting of the management level of the participating municipal departments as well as representatives of the Entrepreneurship Centers, will select the most promising solution approach in each competition field. These will receive the Innovation Prize.
Pitches for the jury must be made in German and German is also the working language during the implementation phase.
The implementation phase
- Start of the co-creation phase: Fall 2022
- Entrepreneurship program: start and duration depending on the selected program of the five cooperation partners.
- Final event: after 3 to 6 months as part of the Entrepreneurship Program.
Topic: "Pilot project for digital NO2 measurements" - Winner: Hawa Dawa GmbH
Topic: "FlexiblesArbeiten@LHM (flexible work at the City of Munich) "- Winner: klink – Digitale Services unter dem Dach der Isarwatt
Topic: "Emission-free mobility in Munich" - Winner: Plan4Better GmbH
Topic: "Improved data on stationary and moving traffic" - Winner: LiangDao GmbH
More information (in German)
Topic: "Blockchain – problem-solving technology for the municipal administration?", Winner: Avaya Happiness Index
Topic: "Pre-clinic patient management using reliable preliminary assessment", Winner: medSNS
Topic: "Gamification – game-based motivation of municipal employees to adopt energy-saving behavior at work", Winner: Earth Is Sexy
Topic: "Climate Neutral Munich 2030/2035", Preisträger: Twostay
Topic: Waste avoidance in Munich's schools, winner: upride (formerly bike|solutions )
Topic: Weekly digital market – Penetrating new target groups, winner Digitaler Wochenmarkt München
Topic: Self-generating calendar of cultural events for urban districts, winner: Neighbor
What are the benefits of taking part?
- The winners will receive the City of Munich’s Innovation Award as well as the corresponding certificate from the city’s Deputy Mayor and competition patron, Katrin Habenschaden.
- The winning concept will be implemented in a real-world test environment. The winners will gain access to the city administration and to information and data that will help you to further develop and realize your ideas. They take advantage of the network comprising local government, start-up support and entrepreneurship programs and benefit from coaching and knowledge sharing with a wide variety of experts. Fresh insights and a rewarding learning experience are guaranteed!
- The press will attend the awards ceremony, presided over by the city’s Deputy Mayor. As a finalist this will give you an excellent opportunity to showcase your capabilities and draw attention to your project.
- In the entrepreneurship program selected by the winning teams - including XPRENEURS , the Start-up Certificate , founders@unibw , or the Munich Global Impact Sprint - the cooperation partners support and coach the award winners in the (further) development of their business model and company.
- At the closing event of the respective entrepreneurship program, the winners will get a chance to present results of the winning projects and to network with investors, corporates and other players from the startup community.
- After the implementation phase, the prize winners will be able to boast a reference project with one of the largest municipalities in Germany which they can use to promote themselves.
Last but not least, the competition allows the winning teams to implement their ideas, to make a positive contribution to their surrounding environment, and to help to make Munich a more innovative and progressive city.
Any questions? Contact us!
General questions about the competition:
Questions about the accompanying coaching:
mobile +49 (0)176 43878697
LMU Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center IEC programs
phone +49 (0)89 / 2180 6948
phone +49 (0)175 413 0088