Apr 13, 2023
digitize wood and the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Science (ENI) are organizing a hackathon on the topics of hardwood and process optimization in timber construction from May 23-25, 2023. The aim is to develop new ideas and concepts for the regional value chain in timber construction against the background of climate change. In the future, fewer softwoods and more hardwoods will be usable for timber construction. Since these differ greatly in some respects, the value chain as a whole must be reconsidered and adapted.
The hackathon is open to all interested parties and is also offered as a course for students of the University of Stuttgart. (For students of the Uni Stuttgart the registration in Campus is already closed).
Previous knowledge of coding or wood construction is not required, much more curiosity and interest are needed and the willingness to work in interdisciplinary teams and get involved with the topic.
Date: May 23 – 25, 2023
Language: German / English
Registration: required via eventbrite
23.05.2023: frei[raum], Pfaffenwaldring 45, 70569 Stuttgart
24.05.2025: Meeting Point at Bus Stop "Universität (Schleife)"
25.05.2023: Code_N, Schelmenwasenstraße 32, 70567 Stuttgart
Please note: We are recording and publishing the event in audio and video for documentation, reporting and evaluation purposes, including on websites and social media. If you do not agree with this use, please contact us
09:30 Introduction Startup Institut ENI / digitize wood
Prof. Dr. Alexander Brem, Moritz Mahlke
09:45 Introduction of Holzbau-Offensive BW, Barbara Pfister
10:00 Outline process and challenges, Prof. Dr. Alexander Brem
10:45 Lunch Break
11:00 Content presentation of the timber construction companies and mentors, Moritz Mahlke
11:45 Greetings from Minister Peter Hauk MdL(Live switch)
12:00 End of the first day
08:00 Start of the Bus trip
08:30 Forest impulses, Siegfried Nägele, ForstBW
09:30 Visit Holzwerk Keck
11:00 Continue journey to Holzbauwerk Schwarzwald
13:00 Visit HolzBauWerk Schwarzwald
15:00 Visit Holzbau Schaible
17:30 Arrival at Hacking Location, Code:N
18:00 Ideation, Concretisation of the problem areas
• Team building with task reference
19:00 First Hacking Session
• Support through online and offline mentoring
23:00 End of the first hacking round
09:00 Creative Methods, Design Thinking
10:00 Final hacking session supported by mentors
14:00 Preparation for pitching
16:00 Jury voting and award ceremony
16:30 Get Together und Finale
18:00 End of Event
It is obvious that the construction industry must also become more climate-friendly: it is currently responsible for about 40% of global resource consumption, 40% of energy consumption and 50% of waste. An ecological alternative to the conventional steel-concrete buildings we use is timber construction. This is because wood is renewable and binds CO2 as it grows, which is stored in the stem – even when the wood is used as beams in a house, for example. In addition, it is regionally available and can be recycled.
In recent decades, spruce trees have been the main species grown for economic use in the forest, as they grow quickly and their wood has excellent properties for timber construction. The entire value chain in timber construction has therefore been geared towards the processing of softwood.
However, as a result of climate change, spruce stands in Germany are suffering major damage. Heat, drought and pest infestation are causing the trees to die, calling for what is known as forest conversion. This means that in the future, many different tree species will have to be planted in order to increase biodiversity and thus make the forest more resilient.
In the future, this will mean that fewer softwoods and more hardwoods will be usable for the timber construction industry. However, since hardwoods and softwoods differ greatly in some respects, the value chain as a whole needs to be reconsidered and adjusted. For example, hardwoods cannot easily be sawn with the same saw as softwoods because they are much harder. Transportation and logistics of different woods also need to be organized.
Therefore, for the hackathon, these are some of the questions that arise:
- What are the differences between hardwoods and softwoods and what are the impacts at which point in the value chain?
- Which effects represent a problem and can be dealt with within the hackathon through a solution concept?
Robotics and automation offer great potential in timber construction to make building more efficient and to meet the need for 400,000 missing apartments per year in Germany alone, while also making up for the shortage of skilled workers. However, the introduction of new technologies also poses a number of problems: In Baden-Württemberg, there is the peculiarity that woodworking companies have an average size of ten people. This means that the investment and training costs of automation are usually too high for them.
For the hackathon, therefore, these questions arise, among others:
- How can small businesses benefit from robotics and automation?
- Are there opportunities to network with each other, to pool resources?
- How can data exchange be organized?
The institute promotes entrepreneurship in research and teaching with a cross-faculty approach that brings together theory and practice. This includes, among other things, the interdisciplinary connection between technology, science and management as well as the cooperation with internal and external partners, e.g. Technology Transfer Initiative, ARENA2036, STARTUP-AUTOBAHN, Cyber Valley, Gründermotor, quer.kraft e.V., etc. The institute is a member of the Faculty 10 for Economics and Social Sciences, as well as a co-opted member of the Faculty 7 for Mechanical Engineering.