- Case Study -

SmartSteel Innovation Challenge

Finding ideas to create a unique fingerprint-like identifier that makes tracing of steel products like plate, strip and tube possible throughout the steel refining value chain all the way to the end product.

Organizer SSAB and Sandvik
Topic Finding ideas and solutions on Fingerprint identity for steel product recognition

Together with Spinverse, SSAB and Sandvik Materials Technology launched the SmartSteel Challenge to find innovative solutions on a fingerprint-like identifier to trace steel products all the way from the mill to the end product.

The SmartSteel Challenge was launched in September 2018 as part of the SmartSteel project, initiated within the Swedish national strategic innovation programs PiiA and Metallic Materials. Companies and research groups of all sizes were encouraged to apply and both ambitious out-of-the-box ideas to more mature solutions were welcomed.

How we reached the goals

Spinverse helped in defining a clear scope for the challenge together with SSAB and Sandvik Materials Technology, opened the call and managed the proposal submission system. Spinverse activated potential participants from an extensive contact network, pre-ranked the submissions and hosted a workshop for SSAB and Sandvik to select the best matches for their specific scope. Spinverse organized coaching meetings with the selected seven finalists together with SSAB and Sandvik technical experts. Spinverse then organized pitch coaching to ensure the finalists’ presentations involved all the right elements to convince the SmartSteel jury in the Pitching Day.

Key takeaways

The SmartSteel Challenge culminated in the Pitching Day event, in which the finalists were invited to pitch their ideas in Stockholm in December 2018. Finalists came from South Africa, Sweden, Germany and Finland. Spinverse assisted in organizing the Pitching Day event and facilitated the schedule and flow of the event. The jury selected two winners, who both came up with ideas on how to trace steel products by using the material’s own characteristics. The winning teams were Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques IPM from Germany and Luleå University of Technology from Sweden. Mattias Klockars, Head of Strategic Research Labs at Sandvik Materials Technology, commented on the winning ideas: “These are both exciting research ideas that can be developed in coming projects. I am over all extremely impressed with all the finalist contributions.” The goal of SSAB and Sandvik is to build long-term collaboration with the winners.

The Spinverse Innovation Challenge concept is clear and well designed. Another success factor is the network of Spinverse and ability to reach and attract participants.”

– Niko Korte, Senior Manager, Digital Business Development, SSAB


Press release about the SmartSteel Challenge winners (in English)

Tekniikka&Talous article about SmartSteel (in Finnish)

Uusi Teknologia article about the Innovation Challenge results (in Finnish)

SvD Näringsliv article (in Swedish)

Industry Europe article about launching SmartSteel Challenge (in English)

Press release by Fraunhofer IPM about the winners (in German)

Video of SmartSteel Challenge Pitching Day (video by FindIT)

Photo credit: SSAB

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