Innovation Challenge EF1: the Innovation Competition

Innovation Challenge EF1: the Innovation Competition

Developing innovative ideas and boosting entrepreneurial thinking in the Bundeswehr sometimes requires unconventional approaches. For our first Innovation Challenge, we worked with the Navy's Einsatzflottille 1 to develop solutions that would make everyday work easier.

The objective of the Bundeswehr Cyber Innovation Hub is to increase the innovative capacity of the troops.

Together with Einsatzflottille 1, we launched the Innovation Challenge Einsatzflottille 1 in Summer 2019, the first large-scale intrapreneurship programme in the Bundeswehr.

The concept of intrapreneurship, ‘entrepreneurship from the inside’, seeks to enable employees of a company to take the cultural change and innovative strength of their company into their own hands.

Following its vision, we have set out to turn the members of the Bundeswehr into ‘defence intrapreneurs’. We actively support them in developing their ideas and aim to contribute to creating a culture in which innovation is embraced more readily.

"Technological solutions make our work easier and help us be better prepared!"

Flotilla Admiral Christian Bock

EF 1 accepted the challenge

During our first Innovation Challenge, Flotilla Admiral Christian Bock, the commander of Einsatzflottille 1, sent a video message to all employees encouraging them to submit their projects and ideas. The goal of the project was to find technological solutions that would make everyone's work easier and help the team be better prepared.

Agile methods for solving problems

What followed was a three-step process. Initially, every member of the project team was invited to suggest a problem they considered to be in dire need of a fix. The jury then selected one of the problems to be given further thought. For the second stage, the solution design phase, the project members formed teams in which to contribute to the solution-finding process. The Bundeswehr Cyber Innovation Hub trained the teams in the methods of agile work.

Attacking the behemoth of bureaucracy

The problem chosen by the jury was that of the creeping over-bureaucratisation of everyday work. At the end of the process stood a programme dubbed ‘Adminimum!’, a concept for an organisation with significantly reduced administrative efforts and bureaucracy, which has been implemented gradually ever since its inception.

It includes a project involving scheduled digital maintenance. Using an assistance system for management processes, this project seeks to improve ineffective maintenance routines and the resulting low operability of systems and equipment

Another project within the scope of the programme looks into the issue of digitising the admission procedures for new soldiers in Kiel. A knowledge management and collaboration app is also being developed.

The next round

The second innovation competition, dubbed „Smart Solutions Challenge“, was held in the spring of 2021 in collaboration with the Bundeswehr universities.

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