Digital Metals AI Hackathon

January 16-17, 2020 @ Talent Garden Vienna

The goal of the Digital Metals AI Hackathon is to generate the best ideas and create new solutions in a rapid prototyping format. To achieve this goal, voestalpine and Primetals will host a Hackathon, where participants (startups, innovators) will develop new and innovative solutions around four use case. During 48 hours, teams will compete to create the best solutions for four use cases.

Apply here

until Sunday, 15th of December

High Performance Metals Division of voestalpine

The High Performance Metals Division of voestalpine is focused on producing and processing high-performance materials and customer-specific services including heat treatment, high-tech surface treatments, and additive manufacturing processes increasingly using digital technology. The division is the global market leader for tool steel and a leading provider of high-speed steel, valve steel, and other products made of special steels, as well as powder materials, nickel-based alloys, titanium, and components produced using also additive manufacturing technologies.

Primetals Technologies

Primetals Technologies is a joint venture of Siemens, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and partners based on over 60 years of innovation in the field of metals production. Primetals Technologies is continually pioneering new solutions to provide metals producers with cutting-edge, custom-tailored plant equipment with a focus on new ecological solutions, the digitalization of all production-related processes, Industry 4.0, future-oriented designs for linked casting and rolling, as well as advanced process analysis and optimization.

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Bring together industry leaders
and the brightest minds from the startup world
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Solve specific challenges
for voestalpine and Primetals
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Identify potential collaboration opportunities
between startups and hackathon partners
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Develop prototypes
for voestalpine and Primetals within 48 hours
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Develop new solutions
for the future of global leading industrial companies.

Hackathon Topics

Digital Metals AI Hackathon encompasses changes along the whole value chain leading to the higher efficiency and flexibility. At the Hackathon startups have an opportunity to make a step into the future by solving specific real-life challenges of partner companies.

Use Case 1: Automatic Generation of Requisitions

The Goal

The goal of the challenge is to develop a solution that can predict or identify demand for materials and services. The solution will create purchasing requisitions from these demands or notify the user to capture a purchase requisition. This could be based on historical data (previous requisitions, orders, forecasted demand based on production orders and sales forecasts) and/or on the current availability (or lack of availability) of materials in the plant.

Current Problem

Currently, a large amount of time is invested to identify demand for material and services and to manually enter purchasing requisitions. This is often done too late for timely procurement and is a lot of manual work (up to 70,000 requisitions per year at a large production site).

Potential parts of the solution

  1. Automatic and timely generation of SAP requisitions for material or services.
  2. If full automation is not possible then use available technology to support the user to identify demand to trigger manual entry.

Use Case 2: Measuring Steel Pieces with a Mobile App

The Goal

The goal of the challenge is to use to develop an App for iOS (or Android) that uses (camera or video) for dimension-measuring for steel parts. The App could use one or more photos or live video to measure the 3 dimensions of rectangular voestalpine steel pieces.

Current Problem

Currently, measuring 3 dimensions with a tape measure and typing them in via a small keyboard is time-consuming, leads to mistakes and frustration.

Potential parts of the solution

  1. As an iOS (or Android) App. The solution has to work on the production site.
  2. It must be portable and practical, the usage of tripods is not possible.
  3. The App could use one or more photos (combined from different angels) or live video to measure.
  4. The use of reference materials (e.g. markers, stickers, plastic bars) or other hardware is possible.

Use Case 1: Digital Twin Interaction & Visualization

The Goal

The goal of the challenge is to develop a “user and customer experience”, this means a Visualization & Interaction – interface. The Digital Twin of the Primetals product Endless Strip Production (ESP) is a comprehensive simulation including the plant itself (Digital Twin of the Plant, e.g. CAD Files), the production process (Digital Twin of the Process) and the produced product (steel grade) with its properties (Digital Twin of the Material). The simulations – as well as the automation on the real plant – are based on physical and data-based models provided by Primetals. ESP promotion video

Current Problem

No known digital visualization solutions (except classical HMIs) exists that can fulfill requirements.

Potential parts of the solution

  1. Virtual walk through the plant and plant operation training by the Visualization Interface (“ Flight Simulator”) based on the Digital Twin simulation (e.g. 3D visualization, Gaming Industry Concepts, VR, AR, MR applications or similar).
  2. Assistance systems (e.g. Data Glass, Tablets, Mobiles) that allow to display information originating from live data or out of the Digital Twin. Information should be displayed according to the real or virtual position in the plant.

CAD Files of the plant as well as Interfaces and Data will be available for Hackathon.

Use Case 2: AI-based Information Crawler

The Goal

The goal of the challenge is to develop an AI-powered tool or service which automatically scans, evaluates and summarizes relevant sources externally (www, scientific/technical journals) and internally (internal documents on share points, databases etc). The content should be defined by respective users in an easy to manage way by combining keywords, context, specific technologies, company names etc.

Current Problem

The portfolio of Primetals is very large, complex and very specialized. Technology, Competitor, IP screening and monitoring is mainly done manually and on-demand.

Potential parts of the solution

  1. Systematic and periodic search with a software and content/context management tool taking many kinds of information sources as a basis (including pictures, videos). The source includes search engines, databases, documents on SharePoint, outlook/mail data if available, social media, video portals, conference proceedings.
  2. Language English (also German if possible).
  3. Results that provide a list with a concise summary and link to detailed information, e.g. contact data summary, ratings. Possibility of comments and automatic storage of documents in defined folders.
  4. Automatic monthly report delivery.

Benefits of participation

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Get connected with industry leaders
You can absorb a lot of knowledge and innovative approaches, take these insights home and replicate in their endeavour.
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Winning Prize
The winning team for each use case will receive € 3.000,- in prize money. There will be an audience prize as well. The teams with the most promising ideas will receive the opportunity to discuss with voestalpine and Primetals for further cooperation opportunities.
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Co-develop the solution of the future
It’s a great chance to expand network, ask for advice and to interact one-on-one with expert mentors, who will follow and support.
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Expenses Covered
Pioneers will provide food and drinks over the whole time of the hackathon – this will make every developer heart jump higher. You will also get an accommodation and travel voucher (please see FAQs for more details).
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Business Development and Collaboration
Get the experience of challenging your product or solution within a new industry or use case – if you can prove your skills this is the perfect opportunity to interact with new potential partners.

Want to participate as a Startup?

If it sounds like just the right thing for you, then apply now!
Travel costs and Accommodation will be covered for all participants.
2-3 participants per team.

Apply here

Please see FAQs for more details.


The Hackathon consists of 2 phases. We start with a virtual meeting few days before the Hackathon to enable everyone for the event on-site with the needed information. In the second phase the actual Hackathon in Vienna takes place.

Pre-Hackathon: Virtual Meeting

Tue, 14th

11:30 – Virtual kickoff
12:00 – voestalpine Use Case 1
12:30 – voestalpine Use Case 2

1st Hackathon Day

Thu, 16th

08:30 – Registration
09:00 – Opening by Pioneers
09:30 – Morning Energizer Activity
10:00 – Development Session
12:00 – Lunch
18:00 – Dinner
Open End Development Time!

2nd Hackathon Day

Fri, 17th

08:00 – Development Time
09:30 – Morning Energizer Activity
12:00 – Lunch
15:00 – Final Pitches to Expert Jury
16:30 – Final Pitches to Expert Jury
17:30 – Jury Meeting
17:45 – Winners Announcement
18:00 – Networking & drinks


Why should you participate? How do you apply?
Check the answers of these and more questions at our FAQs section.

How can I apply?

If you apply as a startup, please use the application form on Piobay. With your application on Piobay you also become part of the Pioneers network and we will keep you informed about upcoming opportunities for you.

What is in for me?

Winning Prize and Certificates
As a selected startup or team, you will join the Digital Metals AI Hackathon. We expect 5 teams per use case and there will be a winner in each use case receiving prize money of 3000 Euros. We will also have an audience winner as well with a prize.

Business Development and Collaboration
After the hackathon, each startup and team will be evaluated individually. Based on the outcomes of this evaluation, a suitable collaboration will be discussed by voestalpine and Primetals respectively.

Learning Experience
Your startup and team will be supported during the hackathon both by our partners voestalpine and Primetals, as well as our own Pioneers experts.

What’s required
For the startups and teams selected, we require that you and your team (up to three people) join us in person in Vienna for the 2-day hackathon with all other participants. You must also attend a remote virtual kickoff that will take place few days before the hackathon and this will take a maximum of 2 hours of your time.

Network & Mentoring
Besides connecting with other startups, this hackathon will offer you the opportunity to connect with other teams and network with key employees from voestalpine and Primetals during and at the end of the hackathon.

How are the winners selected?

One team will be selected as a winner for each use case after pitching at the end of the hackathon to a jury of senior executives from voestalpine and Primetals. Therefore, we will have 4 winners in total at the end of the hackathon for the 4 use cases.

Who can participate?

All relevant startups and teams can participate.

Does it make sense to apply if we already have a proven idea and business model?

Yes! Both voestalpine and Primetals are looking for solutions to the use cases. The solutions can come from early-stage or a scale-up.

Can I only participate as a startup or also as an individual?

We are only looking for established startups and innovators with a team of two or more people. Nevertheless, get in touch and we will consider on a case by case.

How many people should a team be?

2 participants would be ideal. We encourage the teams should be up to 3 participants per-use case if required.

Can I also join remotely?

Unfortunately no! The hackathon will be a 2-day event where it is mandatory to join along with a short remote kick off a few days earlier.

Can I only participate in one use case?

Yes! If you believe your startup has enough participants to be involved in more than one use case, then get in touch. We will review this on a case by case basis.

When do I get the data/information needed?

As teams will have different data (type) needs, voestalpine and Primetals will provide and assist you with the necessary data before and during the hackathon.

When do I get more information on the use case?

The use cases will be further explained to those startups and teams selected to join hackathon during a remote virtual launch of the hackathon few day before the actual 2-day hackathon in Vienna, Austria. After signing a basic NDA, voestalpine and Primetals will share a detailed description of the use case during the remote kickoff.

Who is keeping the Intellectual Property (IP) of my solution?

You will remain the owner of the IP of any (new) you have come up with during the hackathon. Based on your team’s performance, idea and jury outcome, voestalpine and Primetals will discuss any future partnership with your teams in the coming weeks after the hackathon.

What about confidentiality of information?

To protect both your and our Intellectual Property (IP), you will have to sign both an NDA and DPA (Data Privacy Agreement). Any data shared with you by voestalpine and Primetals must not be used outside the hackathon.

What is the cancelation policy?

After you are selected, we will ask you to sign a participation contract – from this moment onwards it is a mandatory confirmation of participation.

What are the costs of participating?

Participating is free of charge. The selected startups and teams are invited to join the two-day hackathon that will take place in Talent Garden Vienna on January 16th and 17th. A few days before the hackathon, we will have a virtual remote kickoff where the uses cases will be given to you in more detail and any questions answered.

How about the accomodation and travel costs?

Selected startups and teams are eligible: For Voestalpine use cases, selected startups and teams are eligible to be covered with up to 200 euros per team from Austria (outside Vienna) and 600 euros per teams from Europe. For Primetals use cases, selected startups and teams are eligible to be covered with up to 300 euros per team from Austria (outside Vienna) and 500 euros per team from Europe. All selected teams must arrange their accommodation and travels independently.

Do I have to stay at the venue for the whole time?

The hackathon will be a two-day event at Talent Garden and it is mandatory to be at the event till the winners are announced on the second day of the hackathon. You will have the chance to talk with mentors senior executives from Primetals and voestalpine during the hackathon.

Is there food provided?

Food and beverages will be provided during the 2-day hackathon.

What should I bring along?

Whatever you need to develop your idea for the use case: your computer, your notebook and most of all your good spirit throughout the hackathon!

Can I also join the hackathon if I am not a participant?

Unfortunately, this is a closed event. We do not allow any non-participants to be involved other than the startups and teams selected and Pioneers, voestalpine and Primetals employees involved.

How much time do I need to invest?

The selected teams need to be present for 2 days of the hackathon in Vienna, Austria. There will be a remote virtual kickoff a few days before that should take around 2 hours.


Vienna – Talent Garden
Liechtensteinstraße 111-115, 1090 Vienna, Austria, 6th Floor

Success Story From Previous Hackathons

The Grand Finale
6-8 November 2017, Linz

I was really surprised with the good results we saw within just a few hours here. There’s so much to learn, it’s really good to look outside the usual places to find it. A hackathon gives a really good overview of what possibilities are on the market.
Head of Innovation, Wienerberger

Want to join? Questions?