Shape the future of production in life science industry

Be part of the fourth industrial revolution in life science production!

We at Bayer are fascinated with the rapid advancements in technology. Let's join our world-class production skills and your innovative ideas in robotics in this challenge to make an impact to the whole life science industry.

#1 Robotic Competition

Thanks to the 6 finalists who gave their best in an exciting event and congratulations to the winning Team LAIAL!

The challenge

With the Grants4Tech robotic challenge, Bayer aims to strengthen the bond between the Lifescience industry and academic robotic research communities and enthusiasts. We aim for a complete new class of applications based on modern robotics.

The task: sampling of powder for quality control from a drum of incoming raw materials is done hundreds of times a day at each of our multiple sites worldwide. Solving this challenge will have a disruptive impact to future operations and robotic applications.

You are challenged to use robotic hardware and develop the software to open the drums and the inner bag. The step of filling the sample into the bottle is explicitly not core of the challenge but optional. Anyhow the more steps the robot executes successfully, the higher the ranking in the final.

Steps to fulfill

Bayer will provide you two different drum sizes. During the challenge presentation all steps will be fulfilled with one drum picked by Bayer.

    • Break the seal
    • Open the clamping ring *
    • Securely place the clamping ring aside *
    • Securely place the lid aside *

* These steps are mandatory

This step includes cutting the cable strap.

    • Cut the cable strap *
    • Place it aside *
    • Open the bag *

* These steps are mandatory

  • Take a spoon
  • Take a sample (minimum 20g)
  • Put the sample into the sampling container
  • Securely place the lid on the sampling container
  • Put the spoon and sample away
  • Grab and close the bag
  • Attach a new cable strap to inner bag
  • Push down the closed inner bag
  • Take lid
  • Put the lid on the drum
  • Replace the clamping ring on the drum
  • Apply a new seal

*Steps marked with an asterisk are mandatory


Flexibility of automation with respect to the size of the drum and the position of the inlets is explicit a relevant guiding criteria in all phases of the competition.

For more information about provided materials and other important questions have a look at our FAQs.
To learn more about specific challenge conditons download our factsheet here:

Rules & Prizes


And the winner is...

Six finalist teams from four countries developed real prototypes using cutting edge-technology and presented their technology at the CUBE Tech-Fair in Berlin to representatives from key industry leaders, startups and institutions.

 The top three received an award of 40.000€, 20.000€ and 15.000€ respectively.
A further 10.000 € was awarded to each three remaining finalists.


What's next?

Bayer will aim to implement the winning solutions in its facilities within a reasonable time. To achieve this target we think that the most effective way is through a partnership among University, third party solution providers and Bayer.


Finalist Competition Event & Award Ceremony


May 10-12 2017, CUBE Tech Fair
Watch the highlights of our finalist event in Berlin!

CUBE is a global innovation ecosystem that connects all the dots in today’s industry.

The Finalists

The Winner: Team Laial

Loccioni Group & Italian Institute of Technology IIT
Team lead: Cristina Cristalli

2nd place: Team Drummie

Division of Production Engineering, Machine Design and Automation, KU Leuven
Team lead: Dr. Wilm Decré

3rd place: Team iviso

iviso GmbH, Wien
Team lead: Nicolas Thorstensen

4th place: Team Fass

Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering, RWTH Aachen University
Team lead: Dr.-Ing. Walter Kimmelmann

4th place: Team Robodev

robodev GmbH, Karlsruhe
Team lead: Dr.-Ing. Andreas Bihlmaier

Team Franka

Institute of Automatic Control, Leibniz-University Hannover & Franka Emika GmbH
Team lead: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sami Haddadin

Jury Statement

The finalists not only impressed with their competence during the five days at the Cube Tech fair in Berlin. They also impressed with their engagement, ingenuity and tremendous effort to come up with a variety of ideas. They have shown us suitable solutions for the challenging task of opening and closing drums and showed us just how tricky opening bags can be. The teams pushed the edge of what is possible in robotics.

Industry partners

Partnering with industry technology suppliers in this competition is highly recommended, and we are proud to present you our collaborating partners published below. You can contact them directly. This list will be continuously updated with robotic manufacturers, suppliers of vision systems and specialists for gripper technology. We are also happy to share our extended network of contacts with you, feel free to contact us depending on your needs.