Today the SmartSteel Innovation Challenge is launched, an initiative by SSAB and Sandvik Materials Technology looking to find new brilliant ideas on what a future steel fingerprint could be made of. Is it digital, does it use artificial intelligence, is it a chemical solution, or could it be mechanics? Companies and research groups of all sizes are welcome to participate, and the winner will get the chance to develop the idea in a long-term partnership with SSAB and Sandvik Materials Technology, with access to vast business knowledge and international customer networks. The challenge is part of the SmartSteel project related to PiiA, Process Industrial IT and Automation, a Swedish strategic innovation program financed by Vinnova, the Swedish Energy Agency and Formas.

“At SSAB, we are already working with our concept SmartSteel, which is our first step towards internet of materials. We firmly believe that in the future, steel will for example be able to communicate its properties and processing instructions to the machine that processes it. With this innovation challenge, we hope to generate new ideas that helps speed up development”, says Niko Korte, Head of SSAB Digital Business Development.

“Discovering a viable fingerprint technology for steel would definitely open up new doors for us at Sandvik Materials Technology. The fingerprint would work as a quality stamp, comprising useful information about material, safety and sustainability among other things, says Mattias Klockars, Head of Strategic Research Labs at Sandvik Materials Technology. “We are very excited to innovate together with others and look forward to seeing the results of the innovation challenge.”  

The challenge is organized by the leading Nordic innovation consultancy Spinverse, a firm specialized in driving open innovation ecosystems and turning radical innovations to business.

“Our proven innovation challenge concept helps SmartSteel to find new out-of-the box ideas, refine them to solutions matching the specified needs and build joint piloting activities”, says Markku Heino, Principal Consultant at Spinverse.

Submission of proposals is open until November 2, 2018. For more information on how to participate, and about the parties organizing the challenge, see call letter.