German company Topocare recently unveiled a highly-automated flood protection machine that can rapidly build temporary dikes to stave off rising waters. The start- up was launched in 2012 by Simon Jegelka and Roland Draier in the city of Gütersloh. It grew out of a project funded by the Central Innovation Programme of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), an SME initiative that aimed to develop an innovative dike construction machine to rapidly make sand-filled tubes.
Connecting companies and universities
Topocare is a partner in “It’s OWL”, a technology network which connects companies, research institutes and universities in the Ostwestfalen-Lippe region. Through the network, Topocare was able to find a key solution at another company, the leading agricultural machine manufacturer Claas. Topocare adapted Claas’ smart technology for its innovative flood barrier-building equipment. “It’s OWL is all about sharing smart, intelligent technology,” says Jegelka.