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City of Munich launches innovation challenge

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    Who will come up with the best idea?

    The City of Munich for the fourth time runs an innovation challenge focused on topics in the field of smart cities. Students, entrepreneurs and all players involved in the startup community are called on to submit sustainable, innovative proposals for solutions to the specified municipal challenges.

    The most convincing solutions will win the innovation award and will be further developed and tested in practice in collaboration with Munich’s city administration and one of the four incubators from Munich's universities.

    The deadline for applications is 15 May 2021. Link to application form will follow shortly!

    Competition + innovation award

    This competition opens up Munich's public administration to innovation. It provides an opportunity to try out and implement new ways of doing things in a real-life, municipal test environment. We are looking for innovative solution proposals and concepts relating to the challenges specified by Munich's local government.

    In each of four categories, the idea that is judged to have the greatest potential for implementation will win the innovation award. Furthermore prize winners will have the chance to implement the concept they submitted in cooperation with the city administration, develop it further and test it in practice. Four cooperation partners from the world of science and academia will support and coach the prize winners:

    • UnternehmerTUM
    • the Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship
    • the LMU Entrepreneurship Center
    • the Entrepreneurship Center Founders@Unibw

    The participants who submit the best solution concepts for each challenge will be invited to present their idea to the jury. All finalists will receive a financial award of EUR 500.

    The jury will then select the most promising solution in each category. The winner will receive the Innovation Award. After the implementation phase has been completed, the winners will receive additional prize money of EUR 1,500.

    Eine junge Frau und zwei Männer hinter einer Glasscheibe schauen in Richtung des Betrachters, dazwischen kleben Post-Its an der Glasscheibe  Link öffnet eine vergrößerte Darstellung des Bildes.
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    Who should apply?

    The competition targets entrepreneurs, startups and students who concern themselves with innovative solutions. Anyone who wants to try out their ideas in practice and would like to benefit from one of Munich's renowned entrepreneurship programs is welcome to apply.

    Deadline for submissions and procedure

    The challenge consists of two phases: the competition phase and the implementation phase.

    Competition phase: This year's competition began with the announcement of the new challenges. Applicants can now submit their proposals until 15 May 2021. The finalists will be selected subsequently and invited to present their ideas to the jury on Thursday, 22 July 2021. At the awards ceremony on the same evening, the winners in each category will be announced.

    Applications can be submitted in German or English. Pitches for the jury must be made in German, and German will be the working language during the implementation phase.

    Implementation phase: The co-creation phase  will run during the fall of 2021, accompanied by startup coaching from one of the four incubator programs. This phase will be used to implement and test the winning concepts.

    The competition ends with a closing event organized by the respective incubation program. At this event, the winning projects will present their results from the test environment and will have the chance to network with investors, corporates and other players from the start-up community.

    These are the topics 2021

    The City of Munich this year is inviting solution ideas and concepts for the following challenges:

    Simply Munich – simply sustainable!

    How can we motivate visitors to Munich to make their stay in the city as sustainable as possible and minimize their ecological footprint?

    The City of Munich aims to be climate neutral by 2035 (website in German) and to implement the United Nations’ Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (website also in German). Contributing to this aim is not only the task of Munich natives, but also the countless tourists who make day trips to the city or stay in hotels, private apartments, or with friends, relatives, and acquaintances. The city is seeking a solution which draws attention to sustainable (tourist) services, for example those offered by service providers in the tourist industry (hotels, catering, retail, and other services), which allows visitors to calculate and compare their carbon footprint during their stay, and encourages sustainable behavior and consumption. Ideally, the solution should be able to illustrate the economic value alongside the ecological footprint.


    Emission-free mobility in Munich

    How can Munich’s citizens be encouraged to willingly use emission-free forms of mobility?

    In order for Munich to achieve its stated goal of climate neutrality by 2035, numerous changes in urban mobility are required. Creative and innovative ideas and solutions for integrating emission-free mobility into everyday life are needed so that citizens do not regard these changes as an additional burden. The solutions should speak to all population groups and mobility users and be scalable throughout individual city districts.


    Improved data on stationary and moving traffic

    How can data on moving traffic (motor vehicles, public transport, bikes and pedestrians) and on parking (motor vehicles, bikes, e-scooters, motorbikes) be improved in Munich?

    Extensively recording and analyzing traffic data can help make planning and managing traffic more sustainable and city-friendly. Existing systems for recording data make a valuable contribution to traffic planning, but there is room for development concerning technology, the use of various data sources, and the amount of data. For this reason, the City of Munich is always on the lookout for innovative ideas to improve data on traffic. The solutions should include all modes of transport and be applicable to the entire city.


    Tool for monitoring available staff and space

    How can efficient, mobile work for the City of Munich’s employees and management staff be supported using a central, digital tool?

    Munich envisions the future of work as flexible and mobile, and thus less dependent on office space. To optimize mobile working, it is necessary to have a clear overview, in real time and on mobile end devices, of which workspaces and rooms in nearby administrative locations are vacant and available. It should be possible to book these spaces on the go. The tool should also help management to maintain an overview of the local availability of employees. This will allow the City of Munich to use space in a more efficient way.

    Innovative ideas which meet data protection requirements can be tested in selected expert teams from the Department of Public Order as part of the competition, with the possibility of expansion to the entire city administration in the future.


    Pilot project for digital NO2 measurements

    How can data on measurements of NO2 concentration – admissible in a court of law, compliant with the requirements and regulations of the 39th Ordinance Implementing the Federal Immission Control Act (BlmSchV), directly accessible, and comprising various averaging periods (annual, daily and hourly averages) and the greatest possible surface area – be made available to Munich?

    The plan is to use a pilot application to assess the degree to which the NO2 measurement network currently used by Munich – in accordance with the regulations and requirements of the 39th BlmSchV and operated with passive samplers – can, in the future, be expanded using certified, digital low-cost sensors. The aim is, on the one hand, to collect and provide legally sound data on air quality in the city with respect to NO2 in the form of a simulation. Expanding the measurement network to record concentrations of other pollutants which are relevant to air quality (particulate matter PM10 and PM2.5; ozone, benzene, etc.) would be desirable.

    Additional background information on these issues can be found here (pdf in German; English version to follow shortly) (PDF, 205 KB).

    What are the benefits of taking part?

    • The winners will receive the City of Munich’s Innovation Award as well as the corresponding trophy and certificate from the city’s Deputy Mayor, Katrin Habenschaden.
    • The winning concept will be implemented in a real-world test environment. If you win the award, you will gain access to the city administration and to information and data that will help you to further develop and realize your ideas. Take advantage of the network comprising local government, start-up support and entrepreneurship programs. 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, who is also the competition’s patron. This will give the finalists an excellent opportunity to showcase their capabilities and draw attention to their project.
    • 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.
    • UnternehmerTUM, the Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship, the LMU Entrepreneurship Center and the Entrepreneurship Center Founders@Unibw will offer the winners direct participation in their incubation programs XPRENEURS, the Start-up Certificate, the LMU EC Accelerator, or Founders@Unibw, depending on the respective conditions being fulfilled.
    • 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? Then ask them!

    General questions about the competition and the accompanying coaching:



    Frieke Meijer-Schepman, Department of Labor and Economic Development
    f.meijer-schepman@muenchen.de, phone +49 (0)89 233-25461 


    Questions about this years' challenges:

    Topic 1 - Simply Munich – simply sustainable!
    Rupert Geiger, Department of Labor and Economic Development
    rupert.geiger@muenchen.de, phone +39 (0)89 / 233 30345

    Topic 2 - Emission-free mobility in Munich
    Patrick Janker, Department of Mobility
    patrick.janker@muenchen.de, phone +49 (0)89 / 233 26967

    Topic 3 - Improved data on stationary and moving traffic
    Attila Lüttmerding, Department of Mobility
    attila.luettmerding@muenchen.de, phone +40 (0)89 / 233 24165

    Topic 4 - Tool for monitoring available staff and space
    Anabel Lehmann, Department of Public Order
    annabel.lehmann@muenchen.de, phone (0)89 / 233 45707

    Topic 5 - Pilot project for digital NO2 measurements
    Peter Ballarin, Referat für Klima- und Umweltschutz
    uvo15.rku@muenchen.de, phone +49 (0)89 / 233 47392


    Questions about the accompanying coaching:

    UnternehmerTUM program
    Robert Kitson
    robert.kitson@xpreneurs.io, mobile +49 (0)170 55 44 132

    LMU Entrepreneurship Center program
    Felix Schoppa
    schoppa@lmu-ec-accelerator.de, mobile +49 (0)175 4130088

    Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship program
    Prof. Dr. Herbert Gillig
    herbert.gillig@sce.de, phone +49 (0)89 / 550 506-18

    Entrepreneurship Center Founders@UniBW program
    Prof. Dr. Rafaela Kraus
    rafaela.kraus@unibw.de, phone +49 (0)89 / 6004 4255 / -4252

    Landeshauptstadt München

    Referat für Arbeit und Wirtschaft
    Grundlagen der Wirtschaftspolitik

    Herzog-Wilhelm-Straße 15
    80331 München