BECOM Innovation Award 2024: Technological visions of the future

On May 21, 2024, talented students from HTL Pinkafeld and prominent figures from politics and business gathered for the BECOM Innovation Awards 2024 in Hochstraß in Burgenland. This year, the project "Dynamic charging control for e-cars" took home the coveted winner's trophy.

The BECOM Innovation Prize was awarded for the second time this year. This prize is awarded to the students of the HTL Pinkafeld, Department of Electronics, for the use of outstanding and innovative technology solutions. The aim of the prize is to recognize young talents in the field of electronics at the HTL Pinkafeld, to put their diploma theses in the spotlight and to encourage them to implement new, innovative projects.

Following a pre-selection by a specialist jury consisting of renowned experts from industry and business, the "best" five of the diploma theses submitted, which are also part of the curriculum, were nominated for the final round. The products ranged from a "robotic arm with glove control" to an "autonomous mine-clearing robot". Among other things, the degree of innovation, the commitment of the students, the market opportunities and the complexity of the work were assessed. On the last day, the five finalists were allowed to present their work to the judges in person, which was also included in the overall assessment.

The official event was opened by Johannes Bock, Managing Director and co-owner of BECOM Electronics. In his welcoming speech, he emphasized the importance of the cooperation between BECOM and the HTL Pinkafeld. He thanked the participants for their commitment and emphasized the crucial role of this partnership in promoting future innovations: "With the BECOM Innovation Award, we not only want to recognize talent, but also encourage young people to develop their creative ideas and help shape the future of the electronics industry."

Afterwards, Head of Department and guest speaker Stephanie Koch, Bsc, gave a talk entitled "Entrepreneurial Masterclass: 6 tips for epic success", which aimed to guide the audience towards their long-term goals not only from an entrepreneurial but also from a personal perspective.

After a short panel discussion with Provincial Councillor Heinrich Dorner and the Director of the HTL Pinkafeld, Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Wilfried Lercher, in which the topics of "AI" and the importance of innovation for Burgenland as a business location were discussed, the highlight of the evening followed - the award ceremony. 
Representatives from politics and business, including Provincial Councillor Heinrich Dorner and the President of IV Burgenland, Adelheid Adelwöhrer, as well as the Director of the Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Harald Schermann, presented the winners with trophies and gifts of money. 

The students emerged as the overall winners with their project "Dynamic charging current control for e-cars". They won the first prize of 2,000 euros. The project team had set itself the goal of using the surplus from a PV system in an efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly way. Their solution enables the fully automatic adjustment of the charging power to the available surplus and the adjustment of the charging schedule to the electricity prices.

Second place, endowed with 1,000 euros, went to the "Autonomous garbage can robot" project, which represents a significant innovation, particularly for older people or people with disabilities. This robot is able to remove the garbage cans independently, drive to the collection point and then return to the starting point. Both the route and the time can be freely selected. 

Third place went to the "Autonomous Mine Detection Robot" project. The idea arose from the need to detect minefields all over the world, especially in conflict zones. The robot detects mines and can continue the search after successfully defusing them. A special program links the various control elements together to display the field, the robot's route and the mines detected. The winners received €500.


After a group photo shoot, the participants rounded off the event with a cozy get-together and snacks. There was plenty of opportunity to exchange ideas, make new contacts and reflect on the afternoon.

The BECOM Innovation Award 2024 was once again a complete success and clearly demonstrated the potential and creativity of the younger generation in the field of electronics. We are proud to have been part of this inspiring event and are already looking forward to the upcoming innovations and talents that will shape the future of the electronics industry. 

The winners: 

1. "Dynamic charging control for e-cars", Thomas Golec & Christoph Hintergräber
2. "Autonomous garbage container robot", Kilian Klaus Werner & Lukas Schwarzhofer
3. "Autonomous mine detection robot", Christina Six, Viktoria Stögerer & Konstantin Tymciw

Jury of specialists:

  • Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dipl. Wirtsch.-Ing. Wilfried Sihn (Geschäftsführer der Fraunhofer Austria Reserach GmbH und Vorstand des Instituts für Managementwissenschaften, Betriebstechnik und Systemplanung an der TU Wien)
  • Ing. Jürgen Antonitsch (CEO und Eigentümer von Beyond Horizon Thinking und Automotive Cooperations and Technology bei Easelink, ehem. CTO der ZKW-Gruppe, Aufsichtsrat in verschiedenen Industrieunternehmen)
  • Ing. Mag. Johannes Bock (Managing Director der BECOM Group)
  • Dipl. Ing. Roland Oberhammer (Teamleitung Embedded Vision, Abteilung Forschung & Entwicklung der BECOM Group)
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