Outstanding founder ideas awarded

From the "digital twin for real estate" to the precise prediction of battery life: In the "TH-Idea" ideas competition, staff and students shone with sustainable impulses. The aim of the internal university competition is to bring the best ideas to fruition.

Five people stand in front of a desk witch a machine

The junior research group Innovative Battery Test Strategies for the Energy Transition (I-BasE): Pablo Morales Torricos (from left), Reinhard Scheuer, Moritz Ehrensberger, Meinert Lewerenz (group leader) and Mohamed Azzam. Source: THI

The Center of Entrepreneurship at Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt (THI) recently held the university-wide idea competition "TH-Idea". Outstanding start-up ideas were selected and awarded based on the criteria of novelty, problem solving / benefit, feasibility and impact orientation.

First place went to research assistant Dr Meinert Lewerenz with his idea for an "innovative measurement method for direct and high-resolution calendrical ageing of battery cells for the energy transition". For the energy turnaround and to meet climate targets, large capacities of centralised and decentralised renewable energy generation will be needed in the coming years, but these can be subject to fluctuations due to the weather dependency of wind and sun. Lithium-ion batteries in particular, with their high energy density and very good performance, provide a possibility for intermediate storage.

"There are particularly high demands with regard to the required service life, which is what makes an energy and transport transition sustainable in the long term. Therefore, it is essential to have a reliable service life prognosis within weeks to a few months via precise, fast and cost-effective ageing tests," explains Dr Lewerenz. The method developed by the junior research group Innovative Battery Test Strategies for the Energy Transition (I-BasE) is designed to capture the parasitic current during the calendrical ageing of batteries in order to thus make precise predictions about the service life at low cost. The idea meets all four criteria of the competition and scored very high with the jury.

Adjusting energy consumption in real estate

Second place went to student Julian Klinger and his idea of a "digital twin for real estate". With this, he targets the high consumption of resources and the associated high energy costs. The digital twin of a property ensures that property owners receive all the important information they need to adjust energy consumption effectively and efficiently.

Kevin Gomez and his "0-Waste-Knowledge" achieved third place. In order to solve safety incidents on modern vehicles despite increasing complexity, digital forensic investigations have to be carried out. "0-Waste-Knowledge" allows all stakeholders to store and retrieve information to efficiently answer recurring hypotheses as well as forensic questions.

This semester's special prize on the topic of sustainability was awarded to Prof. Dr. Stefanie Wrobel with her idea of a "Circular University". The idea involves contributing to the development of a circular economy through various pilot projects at the THI.

Charging the e-car and saving food together

Among the 53 projects submitted to "TH-Idea" this time were other sustainable projects, such as the "scavenger hunt in nature" or the "hot water recovery for the shower". But technological topics were also tackled, such as the "Accelerated Service Mesh", a cloud-oriented, service-based architecture for the 6G access network, and "Crowd Charging". Here, every homeowner with a battery storage system can make the remaining electricity available to e-car owners.

The participants also developed service-oriented ideas such as "TidyFairies", a pick-up service for company parties that follows the "to good to go" principle and donates leftover food to the food bank. The jury also evaluated unusual ideas such as the "Disco-Wash", which turns every wash evening into a techno rave.

"TH-Idea" as an easy way to start up a business

The competition is organised every semester by the THI's Center of Entrepreneurship. The aim is to collect as many ideas as possible, select the best, award prizes and motivate them to implement the idea. The competition is open to all technologies and industries. The entire university community can participate, i.e. students as well as staff and professors.

A jury of experts from business and science evaluates the ideas according to novelty, added value to existing solutions and (technical) feasibility. This year, the jury consisted of Hannah Brakelmann (head of the ERIC project), Prof. Dr. Christian Locher (head of the Digital Business programme at THI), Prof. Dr. Florian Huber (Entrepreneurship & Digital Business) and Sabine Tauschek, Maria Mair and Mark Guist from the Center of Entrepreneurship.