The Volkswagen Group is not just committed to its own know-how in order to drive forward the digital transformation and Industry 4.0. It also wants to make use of cooperative ventures.

Together with the digital innovation platform HYVE Crowd (www.hyvecrowd.net), the Group Divisions Digitalisation and Research are now launching an international competition for future-oriented concepts in bodywork. The title of the Volkswagen Crowdsourcing Contest is “Engineering the future – Rethinking car body manufacturing”. Participants have until 20 December 2017 to submit their ideas on www.hyvecrowd.net. The aim is to open up the innovation process beyond the boundaries of the company.

The Volkswagen Group is constantly working on developing new production procedures with the objective of enhancing the efficiency of the workflows and factory processes. This enables the Group to play a role in shaping technological change. The framework conditions are especially complex, particularly in body construction.

More than 600 parts made of various materials have to be connected by a wide range of different joining processes. Specific equipment is required for each joining process and this causes space problems in production halls alongside high investment costs. The Volkswagen Group is now setting out to simplify the production process further and reduce the scope of joining technology by inviting applications for the Volkswagen Crowdsourcing Contest. Candidates are asked to come up with innovative ideas for bodywork concepts suitable for large-scale industrial production on the Open Innovation Platform HYVE Crowd (www.hyvecrowd.net). “The digital transformation offers us the opportunity to structure workflows and processes to be even faster and more efficient. We are therefore establishing new forms of cooperative venture that are even more proactive in promoting agility and creativity so as to drive forward the topic of Industry 4.0. We are bringing all this together in an outstanding way on the digital Open Innovation Platform HYVE Crowd,” commented Michaela Colla, Director of Industry 4.0 in the Volkswagen Group. “The international ideas competition entitled ’Engineering the future – Rethinking car body manufacturing’ is empowering the Group to use its own know-how to drive forward the car body manufacturing process. Moreover, we are also opening up the innovation process for external talent. This constitutes an important source of inspiration, and external participants tend to be keen to experiment.”

Especially the 100,000 users within our HYVE Crowd who are experienced engineers and experts with technical competency are highly likely to provide us with a great deal of exciting initiatives and concepts. The thematic topic that Volkswagen has defined for us in this crowd contest is ideal for appealing to the creativity of our experts in order to achieve a lot of suitable results. We are delighted that Volkswagen has entrusted us with this mission,” stated Christian Gleich, Director Crowd Strategy at HYVE.

Prospective participants from all over the world now have a period of six weeks to submit their ideas on www.hyvecrowd.net. At the end of January 2018, selected participants will then do a pitch presentation in Wolfsburg of their ideas about the construction of automobile bodies in the future. A jury of independent experts will select the best ideas and reward the winners with cash prizes of 6,500 euros. Concepts that appear to have particularly good prospects for success will then be reviewed for subsequent implementation within the production process of the Volkswagen Group. Oliver Schauerte, Head of Materials Research and Manufacturing Processes in Group Research: “I am excited about the results the crowd contest will give us. We are looking forward to receiving the entries.”