i4Challenge

Industrial Transformation in the era of smart technology

Industry 4.0 is the name given to the next phase of the Industrial Revolution that focuses heavily on interconnectivity, automation, machine learning, real-time data, AI, teams and organization, and new business models.

Making the move from traditional production models into the next generation of smart technology shaped by increased connectivity, Internet of Things (IoT) applications, and data-driven solutions are essential for businesses that don’t want to get left behind.

Industrial transformation is already seeing factories become increasingly automated and self-monitored as machines are given the ability to analyze and communicate with each other. But Industry 4.0 isn’t just about investing in new technology and tools to improve manufacturing efficiency—it’s about revolutionizing the way your entire business operates and grows while still meeting customers and supplier’s expectations.

That’s why we are looking for your innovative solutions!

The i4Challenge is divided into three tracks:

     SME

with sustainable industry 4.0 solutions or services.

     Startups

with existing Industry 4.0 solutions or services.

     New Ideas

for students, intrapreneurs, entrepreneurs and tech teams with great new ideas in innovating the industry.

Eligible are applications from Switzerland, Alsace France, and Baden-Württemberg Germany. For SME and Startups, they must be able to demonstrate a prototype or a product.

A prestigious panel of industry leaders will evaluate the submitted projects and ideas and select several to proceed to the finals.

Key dates:


Application: 01.04.21 – 31.07.21
Jury evaluation: 24.08.- 25.08.21
Winners announced: 30.09.2021
SME & Startups
BE 4.0 Mulhouse: 30.11. -01.12.2021
New Ideas
Accelerator Programm: January-June 2022

Program benefits

I4Challenge benefits

Projects accepted through the i4Challenge receive several benefits to help foster successful commercial launch and business success of Industry 4.0 projects. These include:

  • Exposure through Basel Area Business & Innovation online channels
  • Access to the Basel Area Business & Innovation Industry 4.0 network of experts, innovators, businesses, investors, and more
  • Mentoring from industry experts

Additionally for SME and Startups:

  • An exhibition space at the BE 4.0 trade fair in Mulhouse
  • Possibility to appear as keynote speaker at one of our events
  • Access to a coworking space for six months in one of our four Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area sites
  • Free one-year membership to the Société Industrielle de Mulhouse (SIM)
  • Privileged access to the network and activities of the partners of the Interreg Titan-e project

Accelerator Program in the Canton Jura for New ideas:

About BE 4.0 Fair for industry 4.0 in Mulhouse

Salon Industries du Futur BE 4.0 is one of the most important meeting places for European Industry 4.0 solution providers and interested parties. The fair offers a platform for 180 Swiss, French and German companies to present their latest innovations in the field of Industry 4.0. Over 3,500 visitors are expected on both days.

Applications are now closed for the 2021 i4Challenge.

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i4Challenge Jury

Marco Arnold

Position: ARNOLD IT Systems GmbH

Dipl. Ing. (FH)
Many years of management experience at executive level
Managing Director CEO, ARNOLD IT Systems GmbH

Dipl. Ing. (FH) Many years of management experience at executive...

Marco Arnold

ARNOLD IT Systems GmbH

Alain Dieterlen

Position: Université Haute Alsace

Lecturer Researcher IUT de Mulhouse at the University of Haute Alsace
Many years of experience as a researcher

Lecturer Researcher IUT de Mulhouse at the University of Haute...

Alain Dieterlen

Université Haute Alsace

Prof. Dr. Manuel Hess

Position: University St. Gallen (HSG)

Head of the St.Gallen Startup Navigator Lab at the Institute for Technology Management, University of St.Gallen
Engaged in applied research on the transformation process from startups to young companies
Co-author of the St.Gallen Startup Navigator and lecturer for students, entrepreneurs and managers on the topic of entrepreneurship

Head of the St.Gallen Startup Navigator Lab at the Institute...

Prof. Dr. Manuel Hess

University St. Gallen (HSG)
Jürgen Jähnert

Dr. Jürgen Jähnert

Position: Bwcon GmbH

  • External innovation expert for the European Commission and the Spanish Ministry of Science and Education
  • Member of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Information Technology and Computer Science at the University of Stuttgart

Jürgen Jähnert

CEO Bwcon GmbH

Dr. Jürgen Jähnert

Bwcon GmbH

Stéphan Kohler

Position: Liebherr-France SAS

Ingenieur Arts et Metiers ENSAM
Deputy General Manager Production
Project Manager

Ingenieur Arts et Metiers ENSAM Deputy General Manager Production Project...

Stéphan Kohler

Liebherr-France SAS

Oliver Laux

Position: SIKO GmbH

Master of Science
Many years of experience as project manager and product development manager
Head of Product Development

Master of Science Many years of experience as project manager...

Oliver Laux

SIKO GmbH

Peter B. Meier

Position: HITACHI ABB POWER GRIDS AG Semiconductors

Vice President Industry 4.0
Responsible for a strategically created department with focus on Industry 4.0.
Member of the Executive Board

Vice President Industry 4.0 Responsible for a strategically created department...

Peter B. Meier

HITACHI ABB POWER GRIDS AG Semiconductors

Cyrille Monnin

Position: Productec SA

  • CEO of the company Productec SA
  • 30 years of experience in the B2B environment in various roles

CEO of the company Productec SA 30 years of experience...

Cyrille Monnin

Productec SA

Markus Mühlemann

Position: Project Competence AG

  • Founder and CEO of Project Compe-tence AG; founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of TimeWinner AG
  • Investor and business angel at startup companies in the services & ICT sector; entrepreneur for 19 years
  • Project Competence AG was awarded the certificate “Best Business Transformation” by ASCO 2018 for the second time

Founder and CEO of Project Compe-tence AG; founder and Chairman...

Markus Mühlemann

Project Competence AG

Marc Nass

Position: Actemium Romandie

  • Business Unit Manager at Actemium Romandie
  • Many years of experience as an automation engineer
  • Active for more than 30 years in the chemical – pharmaceutical – biotechnology industry in the region

Business Unit Manager at Actemium Romandie Many years of experience...

Marc Nass

Actemium Romandie
Mark k Peter

Prof. Dr. Marc K. Peter

Position: FHNW School of Business

  • Heads the Digital Transformation Competence Centre at the FHNW School of Business in Olten. The center offers research, consulting, and educational services around the digital transformation to help organizations and employees develop and successfully implement digital growth strategies.Important studies and publications: www.kmu-transformation.ch, www.digitale-transformation-artikel.ch, www.arbeitswelt-zukunft.ch, www.digitales-marketing-kmu.ch, www.it-sicherheit-kmu.ch

Mark k Peter

Heads the Digital Transformation Competence Centre at the FHNW School...

Prof. Dr. Marc K. Peter

FHNW School of Business
HS KA QUINT

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Franz Quint

Position: University of Applied Sciences Karlsruhe

  • Professor for Communications Engineering at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences since 2002
  • VP for Research at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences since 2017
  • Previously employed at Daimler-Benz Aeropsace / EADS in the field of communications and radar as a developer/department head.
  • His research interests are digital signal and image evaluation, 3D vision, and communications engineering. He is a reviewer for international journals and conferences, for the DAAD, and for the accreditation of study programs.
  • Since the beginning of 2021, he has been the spokesperson for the tri-national university alliance TriRhenaTech of the universities of applied sciences on the Upper Rhine.

HS KA QUINT

Professor of Communications Engineering and Vice-Rector for Research at the...

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Franz Quint

University of Applied Sciences Karlsruhe
Patrick Rein KMO

Patrick Rein

Position: KMØ Co-founder

  • KMØ is an Ecosystem dedicated to the DIGITAL transition of Industry located in Mulhouse
  • KMØ  links together schools (nearly 1000 students), startups,  industries, digital companies and accelerators

Patrick Rein KMO

KMØ Co-founder

Patrick Rein

KMØ Co-founder

Martin Scheidiger

Position: Endress+Hauser Flow

  • Head of Department | DRP Process & Test Engineering Endress+Hauser Flow
  • 20 years of experience in electronics and electrical engineering (development QA, production)
  • 13 years of management experience at executive, departmental and project management level
  • 3 years i4Challenge Jury Member

Head of Department | DRP Process & Test Engineering Endress+Hauser...

Martin Scheidiger

Endress+Hauser Flow

Dr. Bettina Schneider

Position: FHNW Basel

Teaching activities in the bachelor courses of study in Business Information Systems and Business Information Technology:
• Enterprise Resource Planning
• Database technology
• Business process management
• Introduction to Business Informatics (focus on Information Systems)
• Supervision of student projects and bachelor’s and master’s theses
• SAP Basis Certificate Course TERP10

Teaching activities in the bachelor courses of study in Business...

Dr. Bettina Schneider

FHNW Basel

Gaby Staeheli

Position: GRYPS Offertenportal AG

  • Co-founder and Co-CEO of GRYPS Offertenportal; the company was founded in 2010.
  • Prior to that, she held various positions at IBM Switzerland, among others, where she most recently headed Sales Operations Switzerland.

Co-founder and Co-CEO of GRYPS Offertenportal; the company was founded...

Gaby Staeheli

GRYPS Offertenportal AG

Matthias Wagner

Position: Bell Food Group AG

  • Head of Projects / Innovations SSC IT at Bell Food Group AG
  • Many years of experience as project manager and member of the executive board in the areas of IT and operations for companies in the health care, FMCG and finance industries
  • Focused on international business areas and digitization projects

Head of Projects / Innovations SSC IT at Bell Food...

Matthias Wagner

Bell Food Group AG
Lionel Socchi

Lionel Socchi

Position: Republic and Canton of Jura

  • Delegate for Economic Promotion, Republic and Canton of Jura
  • Training in the field of banking supplemented by a diploma in business economics from the University of Applied Sciences HES.
  • 10 years in the banking sector (financial analyst for SMEs), 8 years in vocational training (administrator of a training fund).
  • Since 2010 at the Jura Economic Development Agency: support for companies, networking, collaborative projects, export assistance and support through financial aid for company creation and development projects.
  •  Since 2019, head of the Jura Economic Promotion structure.

Lionel Socchi

Delegate for Economic Promotion, Republic and Canton of Jura

Lionel Socchi

Republic and Canton of Jura
Thomas Hediger

Dr. Thomas Hediger

Position: Savoy Hediger Management GmbH

  • Dipl. Chem.-Ing. ETH, EMBA ZHAW
  • Board member of the IBISCUS group, co-owner and co-CEO of Savoy Hediger Management GmbH
  • International experienced CEO with focus on the pharmaceutical and hospitality industry
  • More than 25 years C-level experience in international and mid-sized companies
  • Experienced board member in various companies
  • Eager to share his experience and to further enhance the development of the industry 4.0

Thomas Hediger

Dipl. Chem.-Ing. ETH, EMBA ZHAW Board member of the IBISCUS...

Dr. Thomas Hediger

Savoy Hediger Management GmbH
Kathrin Guenther

Kathrin Günther

Position: Uhlmann Pac-Systeme GmbH

  • Graduated in 2009 with a degree in industrial engineering in electrical engineering and information technology.
  • 2009 Project management at Endress+Hauser in the area of process automation projects.
  • 2014 Master of Business Administration (MBA) and then took on various management positions at Endress+Hauser, most recently with global responsibility for the Group-wide “Energy Solutions” business area.
  • Changed to Uhlmann Pac-Systeme in 2016. Head of Technical Sales for software and automation solutions. Since January 2017, as Head of Digitalisation, she has been responsible for the company’s global digitalization strategy and since summer 2019, she has been responsible for the Digital Solutions business area/business unit of Uhlmann Pac-Systeme GmbH.

Kathrin Guenther

Graduated in 2009 with a degree in industrial engineering in...

Kathrin Günther

Uhlmann Pac-Systeme GmbH
Frank Schönung

Dr.-Ing. Frank Schönung

Position: SEW

  • Since 2012 in the SEW research department responsible for:
    Logistics solutions with mobile logistics assistants
    Production concepts based on mobile assistance systems
    Urban logistics and transport logistics
    Knowledge network and university cooperation
  • Previously: Head of Department for Materials Handling at the Institute for Materials Handling and Logistics Systems at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Frank Schönung

research department SEW

Dr.-Ing. Frank Schönung

SEW
Urs Hofmeier

Dr. Urs Ch. Hofmeier

Position: Schweizer Salinen AG

  • Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry, University of Basel; MBA, IMD Lausanne
  • Enthusiastic and experienced to use the social changes towards sustainability and digital transformation as a basis for innovative services and products.
  • Dedicated to guiding young entrepreneurs on their path to becoming successful leaders.

     

Urs Hofmeier

CEO Schweizer Salinen AG

Dr. Urs Ch. Hofmeier

Schweizer Salinen AG

2021 Winners

SME and Startup

2020 Winners

SME and Startup

New Ideas

2019 Winners

2018 Winners

Talk to our expert

Albert Hilber

Manager Upper Rhine 4.0

Email Albert