PALFINGER invites the innovation community to the largest hackathon in Austria

  • Online marathon to develop new, digital services
  • 100 participants expected on 4/5 March 2017 in Vienna
  • Prize money and development cooperation await winners
  • Invitation primarily addresses university students and start-ups

The PALFINGER Group is inviting everyone interested in developing innovative ideas to participate in a hackathon for the purpose of expanding PALFINGER’s product and service portfolio by incorporating digital features. The goal of this initiative is to offer PALFINGER’s customers added benefits and efficiency in the use of our products, in keeping with our promise of Lifetime Excellence.

A hackathon (a portmanteau of the words “hack” and “marathon”) describes the joint development of innovative concepts for hardware and software. PALFINGER’s hackathon, which is being organized in cooperation with the Northern European consulting firm Tieto and will take place on 4 and 5 March 2017 at the headquarters of Microsoft Austria, is primarily directed towards university students and technology start-ups as well as, more generally, all interested innovators. PALFINGER and Tieto expect around 100 participants, which would make the event the largest hackathon ever to be held in Austria.

The three winning teams will be awarded prize money of up to EUR 3,000 and will receive an invitation to continue working on the winning concepts together with PALFINGER’s own developers. Full information about this hackathon is available at

PALFINGER’s products and services, as well as large portions of the manufacturing processes, are electronically controlled and monitored, which makes novel business models a reality even today – for PALFINGER, its customers and all users of PALFINGER systems. The aim of the hackathon is to raise customer benefits quickly and systematically through digitalization and create valuable momentum for new perspectives through ideas or solutions devised by external innovators.

The specific objectives proposed for the PALFINGER hackathon are:

  1. Virtual reality / augmented reality / mixed reality:
    New technologies such as head mounted displays (HMD), smartphones or 3D camera systems are to be utilized to enhance the field of vision of crane operators, maintenance workers and engineers to make their everyday work easier.

  2. Semi-automated loading and unloading: 
    The automated loading of commercial vehicles is one of the main trends in the era of digitalization and may become a major differentiator for PALFINGER in the future. Here, PALFINGER is looking for innovative concepts and applications that, for example, enable truck drivers, logistics experts or service technicians to load and unload commercial vehicles more efficiently, enhance the capacity utilization of the machines and make the operation of a wide variety of equipment easier.
  3. Digital assistance systems: 
    As an innovation leader, PALFINGER uses a broad array of assistance systems to maintain a high level of user-friendliness, work safety and service quality. Innovative assistance systems, digitalized processes and a brand-new user experience will support operators in their work.

  4. „PALFINGER as a Service“: 
    New, digitalized products and services generate a wealth of data, require great flexibility and impact existing partner ecosystems. New ideas and innovative business models will meet these changed requirements, allowing PALFINGER and its customers to be even more efficient and flexible.

The Tieto corporation, the largest Northern European IT services provider, will be supporting PALFINGER at this hackathon in order to achieve optimum solutions at the interface of traditional engineering and innovative, solution-oriented digitalization. Tieto has already planned, organized and held a number of hackathons in the past.

Martin Zehnder, the Chief Operating Officer of PALFINGER AG, expects the hackathon to yield major momentum for the future: “We are working very hard to develop solutions that allow data from state-of-the-art sensors to help control cranes and facilitate even higher efficiency and reliability. The use of digital technologies enables products and services that open up new user aspects for our customers. At present, our prime focus is on virtual, augmented and mixed realities.”


PALFINGER is an international technology and mechanical engineering company and the world's leading provider of innovative crane and lifting solutions. With about 11,000 employees, 34 locations and a worldwide sales and service network of around 5,000 service points, PALFINGER guarantees customers immediate and optimal proximity.

As the leader in its engineering field, the company aims to ensure its partners’ business success in the long term by providing solutions and products that remain economically and ecologically viable in the future. Its broad product and model portfolio allow PALFINGER to take digitalization and the deployment of artificial intelligence to new levels.

As a global company with strong roots in its home region, PALFINGER is convinced that thinking and acting in the interest of sustainability plays a vital role in successful business operations. That is why the company assumes social, ecological and economic responsibility along the entire value chain.

PALFINGER AG has been listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange since 1999 and achieved a revenue of EUR 1.53 billion in 2020.

About Tieto

Tieto is the largest Northern European IT services provider, offering the entire range of life-cycle services for private and public users as well as product development in communications and embedded technologies. Due to its industrial know-how, technology vision and innovative thinking, Tieto proactively supports its customers in the realization of new business transformation opportunities. With a strong Scandinavian basis, Tieto combines global resources with a local presence. The company has its headquarters in Helsinki, Finland, and, with around 13,000 experts, generates revenue of approx. EUR 1.5 billion in more than 20 countries. Tieto stock is listed on the NASDAQ in Helsinki and Stockholm.

About Microsoft Austria

Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT" @microsoft) is the leading company for platforms and productivity for the "mobile first, cloud first"-world. Its mission is to enable every person and every company in the world to do more. The Microsoft Österreich GmbH is a subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation / Redmond, U.S.A., the world's leading manufacturer of standard software, services and solutions. Since 1991, Microsoft is represented with its own branch in Vienna and employs a total of about 320 people. The goal is, together with more than 5,000 domestic partners, to enable people and businesses to reach their full potential through software. 
More Information:

For further information please contact:
Hannes Roither, PALFINGER AG
Company Spokesperson
Phone +43 662 2281 81100