Technology company wins Banedanmark’s crowdsourcing challenge

In fierce competition with 20 other participants, Swiss company SCS won the first prize in Banedanmark's international challenge for digital specialists. 

The challenge was to find an intelligent, automated way to digitise the over 10,000 drawings showing utility pipes and cables running under railway tracks in Banedanmark's archives. By making such data digitally available, accidents involving severing such pipes and cables during excavation can be avoided. That helps ensure trains can run on time.

Crowdsourcing was chosen as the means to launch the challenge, with scientific and academic institutions and businesses invited to propose how all or part of the task could be digitised. 

The award was presented in a grand final, at which technology specialists from Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland presented their proposals to a jury of experts in artificial intelligence, mapping and utility owners. 

Banedanmark’s Infrastructure Director, Randi Skogstad, lists several reasons why SCS won the award: “Banedanmark focuses very hard on finding innovative digital solutions. The SCS proposal was well-formulated and showed full understanding for the problems we have with our utility drawings, which differ widely and have been produced over many years. All-in-all, they had the most innovative idea.”

The first prize was DKK 50,000. In second and third place were Geoinfo & Desupervised, and NIRAS.

Banedanmark will not be the only entity benefiting from a digital solution. The job of digitising utility data originates from the updated act on utility owner registration, which requires all utility pipe/cable owners to digitise their data. It also means a massive market for digital solutions, because major utility pipe/cable owners such as the City of Copenhagen, Danish Road Directorate and TDC have the same need as Banedanmark.

The ideas received by Banedanmark through the competition are expected to form the basis for a future procurement by tender. 

Contact Banedanmark's press officer on 8234 1313 for more details.