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Start-ups sought to create a software solution for semantic analysis of digital information to identify customer behavior and interests

Country of Origin: Germany
Reference Number: TRDE20210527002
Publication Date: 30 May 2021


A German utility company would like to find out more about customer behavior, trends and current topics by analysing texts in digital media, social media, blogs and forums that relate to the utility. They are looking for a start-up company to create a suitable software solution that can be easily operated by the utility’s staff. A technical cooperation is offered. The request is part of an open innovation challenge. The deadline to apply is 15 August 2021.


In an increasingly digitalized world, it is becoming ever more crucial to identify trends at an early stage and also to analyze the behavior of customers in the digital sphere and to draw appropriate conclusions from this.

A German utility company also faces this challenge. The company was founded in 1995. They would like to be a modern supply company not only of classic energy products but also of digital solutions in an urban context (SmartCity). In order to tackle this, a solution is to be created to analyze activities in various digital channels and to create reports and analyses based on this so that appropriate strategies and measures can be derived.

Topics addressed could be, for example, electricity/water/gas, power outages, in connection with the utility as a company as well as its subsidiaries. In a further expansion stage, a semantic analysis with regard to the tonality (positive, neutral, negative) of the contributions is also possible.

The solution should perform the analyses automatically and present them in reports with various visualization options. The utility company’s employees should only have to initiate the analysis process and set the intervals at which the analyses are to be carried out and the reports created.

A mandatory requirement for the solution in terms of analysis is that it includes, in particular, online newspaper articles, blog posts, forum entries and social media. Likewise, the first step only requires the analysis of German-language texts. However, an analysis of texts in other languages in the area of social media and locally limited to North Rhine-Westphalia should also be available in the future. The solution should have appropriate filter functions that can be used to specify or narrow down the analyses. An optional feature of the solution is image analysis (e.g. logos) in social media. A thematic focus of the analysis should also be individually selectable.

The automated reports must be customizable by employees, especially in terms of their presentation (e.g. diagrams, colors, etc.) and frequency of generation.

A start-up company from the field of software development is sought for a technical cooperation agreement to develop the solution based on the utility company’s requirements.

IMPORTANT: This technology request refers to an innovation challenge published on an internet platform that was issued by a city in North Rhine-Westphalia. If a start-up expresses interest before the closing date of August 15, it will be guided towards this open innovation platform. The Start-Up company takes part in the challenge with their application. If it is selected, it will be invited to spend five working days in workshops with the German company regarding a solution concept as well as workshops with information on the German market and regional market entry strategies. Due to COVID-19, the workshops and meetings will take place virtually. All submissions will get feedback by the company. The challenge closes on August 15, 2021. After that, the firm will select the start-ups with whom they would like to cooperate in the development of a solution. The workshops will then take place from 6 to 10 September 2021.

As this challenge promotes cross-border cooperation applications, it is not open to German companies.

Expertise sought

The following requirements should be fulfilled by the software solution
• Analysis of German language texts in a first step
• Analyses should be performed automatically
• Various reports should be available
• Appropriate filter functions should be included, e.g., focus on a specific source, spatial restrictions, language, analysis period, and frequency of analysis
• The utility staff should be able to carry out the analysis and presentation process easily.

Requested partner

Software start-up companies are sought. They should have know-how in text analysis. They should develop the solution sought in close cooperation with the utility company. The utility company will provide specification and requirements.

The start-up company will be referred to an open innovation platform after expressing an interest. The deadline to apply is 15 August 2021.

A technical cooperation agreeement will be offered.

Partners should not be from Germany as cross-border cooperation is envisaged.

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