Damage Recognition

We are looking for startups to easily recognize vehicle damages and calculate repair efforts.
Win a 50.000€ pilot project and the chance for a long-term partnership with BASF, the world’s leading chemical company. Apply in just five minutes for a chance to win!

Startup Requirements

  • Your startup has a digital technology or product, not just consulting services
  • Your product product is ready for the corporate environment and has already been adapted for at least one customer
  • Your solution can easily be adapted to the vehicle market and to BASF’s needs
  • Your startup has technology that outperforms the human eye in vehicle damage recognition and calculation.
  • There are no restrictions regarding location, company age, or team size to apply for this partnership.


Detailed Briefing Text

The Challenge

As  the world’s leading chemical company, , BASF Group is made up of subsidiaries and joint ventures in more than 80 countries and has 115.000 employees worldwide. The coatings division of BASF is a global expert in the development, production and marketing of innovative and sustainable automotive OEM and refinish coatings, and decorative paints. BASF also specializes in  applied surface treatments for metal, plastic and glass substrates in a wide range of industries.

We are looking for a startup that can identify coat damages and scratches and create a means of calculating how damaged a vehicle is and what repairs are required.

Imagine if everyday users owners of car fleets and vehicle repair specialists at body shops could easily access  vehicle damages and calculate repair costs. The current process is often manually done and highly inefficient, although repair and maintenance have a great impact on the sustainability and lifespan of a vehicle. What if we could build a fully-automated scanning environment for car fleets or private cars, using artificial intelligence and maybe just a smartphone camera? 

Our Expectations

Already think of us as your customer or distribution partner. For this project, we need your startup to adapt your digital technology or product to the vehicle market and BASF’s requirements. By the end of the project, we expect to have integrated a prototype that helps us outperforms the human eye in vehicle damage recognition and calculation.

The core of your solution should be image recognition technologies. We expect your solution to identify small surface damages in order to support car repairs, such as parts recoating. During the project you will need to address the following questions and requirements: 

  • Distinguish between car surface scratches, dents and other types of damage. Use several images such as whole vehicle view and damaged with a size marker.
  • What datasets are most relevant and how can they be used to make repairs faster and easier?
  • Integrate your solution to our systems and communicate via REST API.

Assisted picture taking is also of interest for this project, but not mandatory. However, native mobile apps to take photos are excluded at this stage.

The Process

Please take five minutes to quickly describe your solution. 

After the application deadline, our selection committee will invite up to five finalists to deliver their pitch at a representative BASF location. You will speak with key decision-makers during your visit, and also be compensated for your travel and lodging expenses.

We will then  choose up to three winners for a 50.000€ pilot project. Upon successful completion of the project, startups can officially list BASF as their customer or client. A decision will also be made on whether or not to enter a long-term partnership and whether to roll out  your startup’s solution regionally or even worldwide. 


Your budget is up to 50.000€ for a 3-6 month project.

Get a substantial starting budget

Your budget is up to 50.000€ for a 3-6 month project.
We know that implementing solutions in a corporate setting requires time and resources, and we want you to have both.
A pilot project is just the beginning...

Win BASF as a long-term partner

A pilot project is just the beginning...
After the pilot project, list BASF as a reference on your website and negotiate a local or global rollout of your solution. We want to become your long-term business partner.
Don’t pay to pitch your solution.

Travel and lodging are covered

Don’t pay to pitch your solution.
If we invite you for a pitch, we will cover your travel and lodging expenses.

Project terms

Access the project terms(PDF) here.


  • checkmark copy 3 Created with Sketch.
    Application deadline (extended) 2019-02-17 23:59 CET
  • Application feedback 2019-02-28 23:59 CET
  • Pitch @BASF 2019-03-18 14:30 CET
  • Start of pilot project 2019-04-15 14:30 CEST
  • Start of rollout discussions 2019-10-01 14:30 CEST

Selection Committee

Thomas Paschkowski Digital Technology Scout, BASF
Thomas is responsible for scouting out and introducing innovative technologies based on industry 4.0 specifics - such as smart manufacturing, smart supply chain, and digital business models.
Fabian Pape Expert for Advanced Analytics & Digital Sales, BASF Coatings
Timothee Baret Head of Digital, BASF Coatings
Harald Borgholte VP Strategic Planning, BASF Coatings
Dr. Thomas Gottschalk Cluster Head Smart Innovation & Technology, BASF 4.0
Thomas drives significant parts of the senior project “BASF 4.0”, which was formed to lead the digital transformation in chemicals. He reports to the Chief Digital Officer. His cluster executes over 30 explorative lighthouse projects and scale-up programs of proven solutions in Europe, North America, and Asia. 

About Digital Challenges

With the digital challenges BASF invites startups to solve real problems and to become a longterm business partner. BASF offers first project budgets between 50.000 and 100.000€. Let's explore digital opportunities together. The deadlines are approaching soon! Learn More

Contact Octorank

Mailé Biraben
Octorank Project Manager