Open Innovation


Ideas That Shape the Future

Some 6,000 participants, innovations from approximately 250 international startups, more than 200 companies and prominent guests from around the world recently met up at the CUBE Tech Fair in Berlin. Established roughly a year ago, the event celebrated a rousing debut and from now on will be held annually in the German capital. We present the highlights.

What would you do with EUR 1 million? The CUBE Challenge, in which young companies pitch their innovative concepts to a star-studded jury, is one of the most lucrative innovation awards in the world for start-ups. The judges on this year’s panel included Apple founder Steve Wozniak and Kemal Malik, the Bayer Management Board member responsible for Innovation.

Enlitic won the prize for the most innovative startup. Founded in 2014, this digital health startup from Silicon Valley offers simple, fast and comprehensive data collation in the medical field through machine learning, allowing doctors to access patient files, lab tests and images such as X-rays at any time.

Grants4Tech Robotic Competition

Promoting state-of-the-art solutions to improve production in the life sciences sector: that is the stated goal of the Grants4Tech™ Open Innovation program at Bayer. As Hartmut Klusik, Management Board spokesman for Human Resources, Technology and Sustainability, said, “CUBE enables us to establish partnerships with startups and thus combine our production and technology expertise with new hightech solutions that will benefit patients and customers and increase their quality of life.” The first competition is focused on robotic solutions: with the Robot Challenge, Bayer is aiming to establish a stronger link between industry and academic research groups and inventors in the field of robotics. The winning team LAIAL - a cooperation between the Italian company Loccioni and the Italian Institute of Technology - was selected at the CUBE and honored by Hartmut Klusik.

The future is digital in the health care sector, too

“Ideas don’t cost much to acquire – the crucial factor is their implementation,” said Eugene Borukhovich, head of Digital Health & Innovation at Bayer, during the fireside chat on digital health at the CUBE Tech Fair. “I love seeing smart minds from the startup scene take an idea written on a napkin and develop it into a genuine product and real solution, and in this way pursue their dreams. Our Open Innovation initiatives enable Bayer to share our own experiences with start-up founders when it comes to scaling innovations. And we also gain important insights into their focus and the culture of getting things done.”

  • Bayer is seeking robotic solutions: Grants4Tech
    G4Tech winning team
  • Bayer presented digital farming concept at the CUBE Tech Fair
    Tobias Menne, Head of Digital Farming, provided an insight into the latest developments. “Digital Farming at Bayer focuses on farmers’ needs and on radical new ways to address them. We actively collaborate with start-ups and young companies around the world to test new beta products, learn together and introduce products to the market.”
  • Bayer booth at CUBE fair
    Fireside chat on digital health at the CUBE Tech Fair

About CUBE

CUBE ( is a global innovation ecosystem based in Berlin that aims to link industry giants with startups from the areas of digital health & life sciences, infrastructure & interconnectivity, and machinery & manufacturing to establish partnerships and strengthen them over the long term. As part of the CUBE ecosystem, all stakeholders work together on innovative ideas and products that they develop to market maturity, and thus offer solutions for the specific needs of industry.

In addition to global touchpoint networking events in selected tech hubs, the annual CUBE Tech Fair in Berlin is the highlight of the year, and the results of the CUBE innovation pool will be presented here for the first time in May 2017. Global founding partners include Bayer, Dell, VW and Messe Berlin.

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