Our strong network for the solutions of the future

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Innovation ecosystem

Innovations for Deutsche Bahn

Article: Our strong network for the solutions of the future

The best innovations are created when bright minds come together to share their approaches to solving problems and collaborate across disciplines.

Innovation can only succeed if we liaise closely with other drivers of innovation and employ systematic innovation processes. With our far-reaching networks, we bring together long-term Group goals, momentum, research and concrete problem-solving approaches to form an ecosystem. This is how we create profitable solutions for the railway. To keep achieving this long term, we network both within the Group and with external experts, companies and institutions. We are systematically pursuing and testing every promising potential solution that could help us overcome the challenges we will face in the future.

"The innovation ecosystem for the System Network Rail provides a platform to validate new ideas, technologies and strategies together. Through knowledge sharing and collaboration, we pool resources and expertise to jointly develop and scale innovative solutions. In this way, the ecosystem contributes to making the System Network Rail more efficient, sustainable and customer-friendly."

Joachim Bürkle, Product Owner Unit Innovations and ventures, DB Systel

Profile picture Joachim Bürkle

Working together for the future

DB Systel harnesses the innovative drive of all kinds of businesses for Deutsche Bahn – from startups right through to leading technology companies. We are convinced that only a multidisciplinary overall system can promote innovations in a targeted manner. That is why we seek out and support internal and external ideas by providing professional structures. We are involved in digital associations and cultivate partnerships with external companies. Innovations also spring from joint research projects in which we explore new ideas with partners such as universities and other companies.

Our strong innovation network


Man in front of digital flipchart

This is our partner programme for mature, external startups that expand our portfolio. Within this programme, we seek out and support startups in the interest of establishing a long-term collaboration with them. The SCALE.UP programme offers startups access to the innovation lab and our IT experts. Together, we are creating a scalable digital B2B service for Deutsche Bahn.

DB mindbox

Picture of DB Mindbox

In our Startup-Hub, we guide external startups along the road to market maturity. With specific use cases and real data from Deutsche Bahn business units, we test new solutions to ensure they have concrete practical relevance and support startups on their way to the market.

Our partner network

Employees in a meeting with tablet in hand

Together with our strategic partners, we push through major innovations and create new productive solutions for Deutsche Bahn. In this way, we are harnessing the innovative drive of leading technology groups for the benefit of the railway.


Woman with VR glasses, next to her a second woman with a tablet and a friendly grin.

This is DB Systel's digital innovation forge. It is where we shape ideas together and test them out to see how they could be put to use at Deutsche Bahn. The Skydeck is a venue, but it is also an innovation lab for cooking up inspiration. We support internal startups to achieve the economy of scale necessary for DB.

Associations, initiatives and public institutions

Woman with Post-Its, speaking in front of other people

Whether it's the European cloud initiative Gaia-X, quantum computing or in public research tenders: DB Systel is involved in numerous initiatives and associations, partly as a company and partly at an individual level, which deal in open source, digitalisation and many other areas besides. We are thereby helping to achieve our Group goals and creating long-term added value for our passengers.

Feel free to contact us with your questions, challenges or ideas to do with innovations.