August 23, 2019

The 4th TU Austria Innovation Marathon at the Technology Symposium of European Forum Alpbach has officially ended by the gong going off once again at 9:00.

All teams have successfully presented their pitches in front of the company representatives and the audience. They all deserve a good sleep now. :)

Great job guys! We hope you enjoyed the 24-hour challenge and hope to meet you again some time. :)

August 23, 2019

Finally we have entered the 24th hour! There is excitement in the room as the teams present their prototypes to the company representatives for the first time. After discussing the solutions which they have come up with in the last 23 hours, it is time for the big show.

There are two important rules for the presentation: 1.) no PowerPoints (or any kind of slideshow) are allowed, 2.)  the teams have exactly 2 minutes to make their pitch during the show.

Though, huh?

The audience is slowly gathering in the auditorium while the teams are transporting their prototypes to the scene of the pitches. I can already see the prototype of a huge drill, a fridge and an electric charging station next to the stage. What will they make out of it? We'll see in half an hour.

Don't miss out on the live streaming of the final show at 8:30. To join, just click here.

August 23, 2019

The prototypes are ready to be showcased at the stage rehearsal!

At 5 o'clock in the morning the rehearsals start. For now without the sponsors and the audience, but receiving the constructive but critical feedback from the other teams and the Coaches.

The diversity of the pitches is endless: there is live music, singing, oversized prototypes, great story-telling and more... but you can see for yourself! :)

Don't miss out on the live streaming of the final show at 8:30. To join, just click here.

By the end of the night the teams are getting a bit tired - as you can see from our small collection of sleeping pictures. :)

Most of the night is over and they only have 2 hours to go until they get on stage. Keep it up guys!

August 23, 2019

After the coffee machine has been reloaded, there are no obstacles in the way of a successful ending of the Marathon! :)

The atmosphere has been surprisingly relaxed and the teams have spent most of the time in a good mood.

Just before midnight the teams stepped over to the prototyping phase. This is when most of the teams got really energised - after the long understanding, analysing and ideating phases finally they got to the 'doing' part of the process.

The students received all kinds of materials, from straws through play-doh to huge pieces of cardboard. Then the experimentation begun.

The goal is to prepare tangible prototypes which can be presented on the stage and which are bigger than life-size so that they are visible for the audience sitting in the auditorium. Apart from having fun and enjoying the concepts coming to life, it is also time for the preparation of the pitches.

We'll get back to you when the prototypes are ready. :)

August 23, 2019

C is for Crazy... oh, I mean Coaches. :)

As in the past years, this time the teams are supported by our experienced Innovation Coaches, members of the Austrian Patent Office and by our wonderful coordinator, Mario. 

Stefan, Julia and Christina are innovation consultants at Integrated Consulting Group and Roland is the leader of a small but powerful innovation team at Philips, so I dare say innovation runs in their veins.

But wait... what exactly are they doing as Innovation Coaches? Let's hear from the Coaches themselves!

'To challenge my team to come up with really cool solutions and at the same time keep the atmosphere going and keep their spirit up. Help the team work out their conflicts and to protect the team from team members who want to break free of all the rules but not to destroy the team dynamics.'

'I think my main job is to entertain the team and make it fun for them.'

'Sometimes it's like being a kindergarten teacher - sometimes they fell that they don't know what to do, I feel...

August 22, 2019

We have reached half-time!!! :)
From 19:30 the teams had 1.5 hours of free-time. Some used it to go on with their projects, some of them participated in the yoga session offered by Christina, one of our multidisciplinary Innovation Coaches, and some of them went for a relaxing walk.

Then the room has filled up again and it was time to reload the batteries with a fun energizer. What else could it be than the year-after-year favourite of our participants: the CUP SONG! :)

I think the photos talk for themselves, so here's a little gallery.

Wow, you can feel the energy building up by all the laughter!

If you don't know the cup song don't miss out, here's the video we have also showed to the group:

And yes, they did it! Well, of course except for the singing. :)

The teams are now back to work. They still have more than 10 hours to go until the final show at 8:30 in the morning.

If you go to sleep, please also send some energy to them. They are going to need it in the upcoming hours.

August 22, 2019

In innovation diversity is key. That's exactly why we are so proud of the diverse background of the participating students, and also of the wide variety of the projects brought by the partner companies.

Some facts about the diversity of our teams:

This year we received almost 170 applications from students for the 40 available places. There are more than 20 countries represented amongst the participants.
These are: Albania, Austria, Belarus, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Ethiopia, Finland, Germany, Israel, Jordan, Liechtenstein, North Macedonia, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA and Zambia.

The fields of study of the participants range from architecture to automation, eco design & renewable energy systems, health sciences, biotechnology, international law, philosophy, Southeast Asian studies, technical chemistry and many more.

This is what I call a perfect cocktail of diverse backgrounds and an exciting mixture of fields of interest! :)

The team members in...

August 22, 2019

The TU Wien publishing team is working hard to make the event accessible and well-documented on several sites. They are frequently posting photos and videos during the 24-hour challenge, so it's worth checking out! :)

So here's where you can follow the event besides our blog - just click on the links below:

On facebook

The official page of the Innovation Marathon

The offical page of the three Austrian Universities of Technology:

TU Wien

TU Graz

TU Leoben

On twitter

TU Wien on twitter

On LinkedIn

TU Wien on LinkedIn

On YouTube

TU Wien YouTube channel

August 22, 2019

The teams still have 17 hours to go, and we're back with another four of the challenges. :)

Altogether there are eight topics brought to us by the partner companies: ams, Constantia Flexibles, Energie Steiermark, Hilti AG, LIEBHERR, LOGICDATA, PALFINGER and Philips. On the cover photo you can see a lovely picture of the company representatives participating in the event.

In the previous post we have introduced four of them, and now we are coming with the other half of the pack.


The first challenge in this post is presented by LIEBHERR, a family owned company founded by Dr.-Ing. E. h. Hans Liebherr in 1949. They have over 130 companies worldwide, active in almost 50 countries. The division for refrigeration and household appliances has five production sites, one of those is located in Lienz (Austria) with a special focus on commercial applications.

In Lienz 1.400 employees are manufacturing 420.000 appliances a year.

The team working on their challenge is working on innovative solut...

August 22, 2019

After 3 hours of the teams individually analysing the topics and their business context, the company representatives are back! Now the students have the opportunity to briefly present their understanding of the situation and maybe eves share their first ideas.

This year's challenges are brought to us by eight partner companies: ams, Constantia Flexibles, Energie Steiermark, Hilti AG, LIEBHERR, LOGICDATA, PALFINGER and Philips.

But what exactly are these challenges? Let's see the first four!


So the first partner in this list of introduction is ams, a global leader in the design and manufacture of advanced sensor solutions. Their mission is to shape the world with sensor solutions by providing a seamless interface between humans and technology.

During the TU Austria Innovation Marathon the student team is working on solutions regarding
sensors to enrich social media interaction.

Constantia Flexibles

Second in line of the introductions is Constantia Flexibles, one of the world's leading man...

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Mario Fallast, Project Lead Innovation Marathon
Graz University of Technology
Rechbauerstraße 12
8010 Graz, AUSTRIA

With innovative Know-How