The Innovation Day NEULAND 2024 in review

Review: That was the NEULAND Innovation Day 2024!

The NEULAND Innovation Day at KIT on the topics of innovation and entrepreneurship went into the next round on June 12, 2024 - live around the Audimax on KIT's South Campus.

This year's event focused on innovations that contribute to a greener, more digital and healthier future. Aspects that are described in the EU strategy as clear goals for a sustainable future, to which KIT is intensively dedicated in its research areas and which were also the focus of the exciting short presentations at the Innovation Day. In addition to the specialist presentations, this year's highlights also included the start-up pitch including the subsequent award ceremony, the presentation of the innovation prizes and a large exhibition in the Audimax foyer with around 40 stands, which invited visitors to network. 

For the first time, we also built a bridge between science, business and art with the Innovation Day. In the evening, the Chairman of the ZKM Karlsruhe, Alistair Hudson, gave his eagerly awaited keynote speech on the topic of "Manufactories of Creative Intelligence". Hudson spoke about the alternative history of museums as sites of collaborative learning and the advancement of knowledge in the field of new technologies.

You can find a detailed summary of this year's Innovation Day in our follow-up report. We have compiled impressions of the day in our picture gallery and recorded the highlights in a video. If you were unable to attend the day, we have also uploaded the recordings of the presentations.

The Innovation Day 2024 was supported by:

The Innovation Day 2024 at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) offered a platform for exchange, inspiration and forward-looking ideas on June 12, 2024. With a diverse program ranging from exciting keynotes and dynamic start-up pitches to captivating presentations and panel discussions, the event attracted numerous participants from science, business and society.

Inspiring start

The day began with a warm welcome from Prof. Dr. Thomas Hirth, Vice President Transfer and International Affairs at KIT. Afterwards, Dr. Thomas Schneider, Managing Director of Development at this year's premium sponsor TRUMPF Werkzeugmaschinen SE + Co KG, presented the company's groundbreaking technologies and innovations, which include projects such as the super lightning rod laser and EUV lithography.

Expert presentations and panel discussions on the topics HEALTHIER, MORE DIGITAL and GREENER

The day's program focused on innovations that contribute to a greener, more digital and healthier future. These strategically important topics were addressed in a total of nine short, exciting specialist presentations followed by discussion rounds.

The HEALTHIER theme kicked things off with a focus on the latest advances in medical technology, personalized healthcare solutions and the role of artificial intelligence in the healthcare sector.

  • Prof. Dr. Michael Beigl from TECO presented innovative health technologies for the body.
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Maria Francesca Spadea from IBT gave an insight into advanced models for improving radiotherapy, which enable more precise dosing and thus more effective treatment.
  • In the third presentation, Yunus Bulut from Validaitor UG explained the challenges and regulations in the field of artificial intelligence with a focus on the new EU laws on AI risk assessment.

The second topic slot focused on MORE DIGITAL, which highlighted how digital technologies are transforming various areas of life and work.

  • Tobias Düser from IPEK explained how the metaverse could revolutionize product development as an immersive, virtual 3D space.
  • Anjela Mayer from IMI presented XIRCON, an innovative approach to optimizing reconfiguration processes in manufacturing that is designed to significantly reduce downtimes and errors.
  • John Achim Holzhauer from Semorai GmbH highlighted the potential and challenges of artificial intelligence in industrial practice, particularly with regard to reducing the workload.

The GREENER area was dedicated to the topics of the circular economy and the sustainable use of resources.

  • Dr. Michael Knapp from IAM-ESS opened the slot with a presentation on mechanochemical battery recycling as a step towards a functioning circular economy.
  • Dr.-Ing. Patric Grauberger from IPEK presented innovative models for creating new products from used parts and emphasized the importance of functional modelling for the circular economy.
  • Finally, Felix Baur and Robert Schleinhege from the spin-off project Rement presented an economic approach on how new added value can be created from demolition concrete and CO₂.

Six start-up teams competed against each other in the KIT-Gründerschmiede pitch

A special highlight of the Innovation Day is and remains the start-up pitch. This year, six teams competed against each other and presented their innovative start-ups: LiftWise, PHABIOC, Prio Optics, Rement, Spotium and Valoon. The ideas presented ranged from revolutionary health technologies and digital solutions to sustainable environmental initiatives. Each start-up had the opportunity to convince the jury and the audience of their vision in a short pitch. After the time limit had expired, each team faced critical questions from the jury to convince them of themselves and their ideas. After a lively discussion, the quartet of judges came to the conclusion that the winner of the Start-up Pitch 2024 at KIT is the team from Rement. The start-up pitch was not only a showcase for creative business models, but also an exciting opportunity for KIT start-ups to gain valuable feedback and potential investor contacts. In addition to the award ceremony for the start-up pitch, the award ceremony for the NEULAND innovation competition was also a must. The VisioPrinTech team led by Prof. Dr. Ute Schepers and Dr. Stefan Bräse won the coveted NEULAND trophy. We have summarized more detailed information about the award winners in a separate blog post.

Keynote speech by Alistair Hudson bridges the gap between science, business and art

Under the title "Manufactories of Creative Intelligence", Alistair Hudson, Chief Scientific and Artistic Officer of the ZKM, gave his eagerly awaited keynote speech on the alternative history of museums as sites of collaborative learning and the advancement of knowledge in the field of new technologies. In his talk, Hudson drew a broad arc from the industrial revolution of the 1800s to the new wave of public institutions of today. Hudson, who is known for his work at the intersection of art, technology and social change, emphasized in his speech the importance of creativity and interdisciplinary thinking in solving global challenges.

A festive finale: Conclusion with networking, live coding and music

NEULAND Innovation Day 2024 ended with a networking event, where participants had the opportunity to review the day's events and round off the evening with exciting conversations, relaxed musical accompaniment and delicacies from the food trucks. Live coding sessions by artists Dan Wilcox and Tim Offenhäuser demonstrated in an exciting way how complex data streams can be turned into creative works in real time. Benny Binder & Friends provided a musical finale.

Thank you and see you at the next Innovation Day

Many thanks to all sponsors, donors, exhibitors and participants who made this day a complete success. Innovation Day 2024 at KIT was proof that interdisciplinary collaboration and creative thinking are key to solving the challenges of our time. With a program that offered both depth and diversity and an atmosphere that fostered exchange, a combination of inspiring talks, dynamic pitches and a festive finale make Innovation Day a must-attend event for the innovation community.

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