Deutschland 4.0 is an innovation project under the patronage of Minister of State Dorothee Bär, in which the Digital Generation of students, researchers and start-ups from different disciplines are invited to come up with new (digital) innovations for societal challenges in cooperation with established companies and organizations. More than 10 relevant use cases from cooperating organizations from business and society are available for this purpose.

Be a part


The Deutschland 4.0 Challenge is a nationwide innovation competition that calls on students from various disciplines to develop new concepts and innovations for a sustainable, digital Germany. In a joint exchange with business, science and politics, students work out new added value for a digital society based on concrete economic and political challenges. I invite the winner to a personal interview at the Federal Chancellery.”

The project is accompanied by patron Dorothee Bär, Minister of State for Digitization at the Federal Chancellery and Federal Government Commissioner for Digitization.

The Project

New technologiesopportunities, and possibilities for optimization – The benefits that digitization brings us for society, the economy and science can hardly be overlooked. While our society is undergoing constant change because of the digital transformation, it is not only the opportunities for digital progress that are increasing in the form of new value-added opportunities and innovative products.

Rather, new opportunities for society to increase the quality of life, prosperity of wealth and growth of each individual are being added, which can simplify, change, and improve individual areas of daily life.

In its Hightech-Strategie 2025, the German government has defined various areas of societal challenges that are to be addressed by digitization for the benefit of our society and the people living in Germany, thus providing new guidelines for the promotion of research and innovation.

And this is where you come into play: Together with Dorothee Bär we are running the DEUTSCHLAND 4.0-Challenge, which gives you the opportunity to develop new ideasapproaches and innovations around the digitalization of Germany. We provide you with different use cases of our corporate partners. You can choose between the different problems and, based on real topics, apply your knowledge in practice and develop digital solutions that will benefit our society.

No matter if you are a student, researcher, young professional or start-up: You want to achieve a positive impact with your ideas? Then this challenge is just right for you!

Use Cases

The first round DEUTSCHLAND 4.0 will be carried out in November 2020 with the following main topics:

  • Health and care
  • Sustainability, environment and energy
  • Smart Cities, logistics and mobility
  • IT, security and digital infrastructure
  • Education, work and development

For these areas different solutions should be developed ranging from concrete products or concepts to visions.


In order to provide you with the best possible support in finding ideas, we offer continuous Design Thinking Workshops throughout the qualification phase, in which you will be supported and coached by selected innovation experts from the Lufthansa Group.

  • Qualification phase: November 9th,2020 until January 25th 2021

    From this day on you will have the opportunity to choose a use case and develop new ideas and approaches around that given case and the guiding questions. You can either work together in teams or develop new innovations on your own.
    You have until January 25, 2021 23:59 to submit your first ideas and approaches in form of our submission template via the ekipa platform.

    Please make sure that the participation is only possible via the landing page of the use case. There you can find the submission template and upload it directly.

  • Bootcamp: February 12th 2021

    At the beginning of the elaboration phase, the final teams are invited to a digital bootcamp where they can further develop their ideas and approaches together with representatives from politics, business and science, receive new input and ask questions in order to gain a deeper insight into the problem and potential solutions. For the best possible experience and the greatest added value, the Bootcamp combines networking sessions between all parties, different workshops on specific topics and coaching sessions between the final teams, the representatives of each use case & company and the innovation coaches of the Lufthansa Group.

  • Preperation phase: February 13th,2021 – March 31st, 2021

    With the help of the input from the bootcamp and the new knowledge you have acquired up to then, you can now further develop and improve your idea. Not only the feedback of the experts will help you, but also the sparring during the whole elaboration phase with the Lufthansa Innovation Coaches and representatives of our corporate partners. The goal of the elaboration phase is to work out your solution for the final event, but also for the following publication. Thus, you will not have to expect a great deal of additional work for the publication.

  • Closing event April 05th, 2021

    The challenge is concluded with the final event. On this day, the finalists will pitch their solutions in front of a jury of high-ranking representatives from business, science, and politics.

    Various stages are available for this purpose, on which the final teams compete against each other before selected juries.

    In addition to the pitches the event will also feature keynote speeches by innovation experts and a panel discussion. Also the winners of the challenge will be selected and honored on this day. In contrast to the qualification phase, there will not be one winner per use case, but the six winning teams of the entire challenge will be selected and awarded with 2.500€ prize money each.

In a joint workshop, we want to take a closer look at the use cases and generate and work out initial problem solutions. All interested parties can register for the workshop using the links provided.


In order to give the developed solutions, the greatest possible appreciation and attention, all solutions of the final teams will be published in a joint publication! This way, they can be regarded as recommendations for actions or impulses for politics, economy and society and at the same time be pursued further.


In addition, the best six teams in the challenge will receive prize money totaling 15.000 EUR, which will be divided equally among all team.

Besides prize money we also have many exciting opportunities for you:

  • An invitation to the Federal Chancellery for a personal interview with Dorothee Bär for the award-winning teams
  • Contact to experts from business and science
  • Further collaborations with the company of the use case with the prospect of implementing the solution
  • Access to exclusive events and personal mentoring by innovation experts from the Lufthansa Group
  • Support for the continuation of your solutions through the Campus Founders’ Programs
  • Potential internships with our corporate partners

Social Wall #DE4punkt0

We will award a Social Media Prize between all participating teams after the successful completion of the qualification phase.The team that documents its own project progress in the most exciting and creative way on social media will receive a prize of 1.000 EUR!

And this is how it works:

Link the following hashtags under each post:

#DE4punkt0 #Teamname on the Platform #DEchallengeaccepted

You can participate via all common Social Media platforms: Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.


It is the goal of TechAcademy e.V. to train the next digital leaders. Students of all fields of study have the opportunity to already acquire knowledge in the various programs during their studies of coding. TechAcademy supports several teams in the project by coaching and providing experienced mentors.

Campus Founders serves as a center for entrepreneurship and innovation, they support energetic and passionate people with good ideas & accompany them on their entrepreneurial path. They will also offer opportunities for the winning teams which go beyond the project to continue working on solutions within their programs in order to achieve a social impact.

With a large number of experienced innovation coaches, the Lufthansa Group supports all teams in generating, validating and elaborating ideas.


You are a journalist and want to report about the project DEUTSCHLAND 4.0?
A digital press kit is also included here
Press map Deutschland 4.0

More informations about the DEUTSCHLAND 4.0-Challenge