11 ideas and solutions driving Industry 4.0 forward

The 5th edition of the i4 Challenge has awarded six startups in the category ‘Innovative Solutions’ and five ‘New Ideas’. The companies are developing diverse solutions aimed at, for instance, improving energy efficiency, creating reusable packaging and enabling people to take maintenance into their own hands.

The i4Challenge aims to accelerate the time to market for industry 4.0 solutions and support the manufacturing industry with new approaches and valuable applications. The jury, industry, and academia experts of the competition’s 5th edition selected the six most outstanding applications for the categories Innovative Solutions that showed a deep understanding of the industry and have the potential to improve manufacturing, change mindsets and drive industrial transformation. The selection committee also selected five companies for the New Ideas category. Overall, the call attracted 30 applications dominated by topics including Additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, sustainability and human-machine interaction.

The winners are:

Innovative Solutions category:

Ponera Group (Lugano/TI, founded 2019) – developed a modular reusable and digitally enabled industrial packaging solution which replaces single-use wooden crates, thus reducing packaging costs by up to 90%.

Rimon Technologies (Zürich, 2020) – the ETH Spinoff founded by Kordian Caplazi developed an augmented reality platform that enables service technicians to complete tasks faster and with fewer errors during inspection, maintenance and training.

a-metal (Olten/SO, not yet incorporated) – founded by Stephan Steiner and Andreas Kuster the company provides a compact desktop machine, powder material in sealed cartridges and an easy-to-use software package. The solution enables R&D departments, SMEs and the education sector to enter into professional metal additive manufacturing.

Ketag AG (Kirchberg und Basel, 1957) – developed an application to digitize and automate the process of replacing a faulty electric motor – no special knowledge is required.

Lines Manufacturing (Heiligenstein/France) – develop high-performance industrial production machines which are based on their patented large-format polymer 3D printing technology from pellet extrusion.

plus10 (Stuttgart/Germany) – offers a solution to reduce downtime in highly regulated manufacturing for pharma and medtech environments.

New Ideas category

AdVentura Works (Morges/VD, 2021) – uses advanced technology to build a solution for remote driving of forklifts to help logistics and industrial companies tackle employee shortages.

Axom Solutions (Basel, 2019) – combines cutting-edge AI with Robotics to provide a comprehensive and adaptable solution to inspect objects for many different use cases like mislabeled products

B4SIS (Binningen/BL) – its solution provides accurate plans and BIM models with all necessary information embedded as a digital twin to address the lack of knowledge regarding renovation costs.

DX Analytics (Basel) –  helps real-estate owners to optimise the operation and maintenance process to analyse and report issues.

Xsight Cybersecurity (Gorgier/NE) – is a hybrid security operation center to permanently protect clients’ networks and IT systems.

The winners will receive further support in shaping their business development, and access to the program’s tri-national network. Additionally, winners of the Innovative Solution category will also receive exhibition space at the BE 4.0 trade fair in Mulhouse (29.- 30. November 2022) and specific education programs. The winners of the New Idea track will have the opportunity to accelerate their business at the Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area in Courroux and receive coaching from various industry experts to develop their business model.

(Press release/RAN)