Pöttinger Engineering Contest There is no topic too complex for open innovation.
Pöttinger is a medium-sized family business from Upper Austria running in the fourth generation with 140 years of experience in the field of agricultural machinery. Among others, one of the Goals for Pöttinger’s engineers is the improvement of the uniformity of the cut grass in the cutting unit of the in-house haulage vehicle. A better alignment of the haulms enables a more consistent cut of the animal feed. An optimized process of fermentation improves the quality of the animal feed. Better quality of the feed increases the milk production of the cows, eventually leading to better Outcome for the farmers.
Accordingly a concrete need for solving a complex problem appeared on the agenda of Pöttinger. Therefore, Pöttinger decided to initiate an idea contest. The contest platform especially addressed mechanical engineers, designers, farmers and students of relevant disciplines. Due to the simple explanation of the complex process though also laypeople were able to participate in the contest. A heterogenic community emerged. Thanks to the cooperation between Pöttinger and the University of Applied Sciences of Upper Austria a very committed student trainee working at Pöttinger supported the execution of the contest.
The jury, consisting of executive managers from Pöttinger and university professors, was very positively surprised by the large number of high-quality submissions. During the contest period 574 users registered on the platform and submitted a total of 112 ideas. The competition did not only appeal to locals, but attracted the attention of many international people as well. Based on intensive discussions among the jury members the three most promising ideas were awarded with prizes in total worth 8,000€. Given the elaboration and professionalism of the submitted idea, Pöttinger works together with five of the contestants to develop their ideas further and realize them. Pöttinger’s R&D department is working at full stretch to implement the submitted technical drawings.