Young woman in manufacturing with Yumi robot
xplore 2023 Technology Award Logo

From Australia and Asia, Africa, and Europe to North and South America – we are inviting participants from all over the world to the

xplore 2023 Technology Award for a sustainable world

Xplore – Get Inspired

The competition for secondary school and university students, trainees, instructors, founders, and people who not only want to experience the future, but also to shape it.


a large group of people are in the foyer of a Phoenix Contact building, stretching their arms upward and waving

The Award

For nearly 100 years, Phoenix Contact has stood for technological innovation. That was and remains the core of our xplore competition, which is now going into its eighth edition. In this edition, the mission combines technologies with values, people, and the future. Entirely in the spirit of our purpose:

Together we are creating a sustainable world based on our passion for technology and innovation

This is what we would like to achieve and promote globally with xplore 2023. The  only way to create a sustainable world is to do it together.

The benefits

xplore 2023 is designed to inspire and support young people in implementing their ideas for a sustainable world.
To make this idea a reality, we support participants with all the technologies and products that are available at Phoenix Contact – that’s more than 100,000 products.

Each team will receive a voucher for goods valued at over 3,000 euros and can have the most suitable components for their own solution delivered free of charge.

In addition, we offer the expertise and advice of the entire Phoenix Contact community. From the 100 teams, the international jury will nominate 25 finalist teams that we will invite to Germany.

During a huge event, the participants will present their technical innovations with all their functions and features. The jury will then select up to three best ideas in each of the categories.

a group of six young students stand in a row on a stage and present their certificate

The tasks

At xplore 2023, those interested in the following fields of activity can apply with their ideas:

there are photovoltaic plants on a meadow, behind them are five wind turbines

Technical solutions for daily life in a sustainable world

Here, we are seeking ideas that innovatively combine technology and sustainable supply, for example in the energy or the production sector. Or answers to the question of how we live and work in buildings that are developed and operated economically and ecologically sustainably on the basis of data.

Two young men are bent over a circuit, to the right stands a man gives the men an explanation

Educational solutions for technology and qualification for a sustainable world

We would like to find and support ideas that involve the question of how to use technology to build the awareness, mindset, and expertise through which redesigning and transforming a sustainable world is even possible.

The fields of activity and their key topics

there are photovoltaic plants on a meadow, behind them are five wind turbines

Solutions for the daily private and professional life in a sustainable world

there are photovoltaic plants on a meadow, behind them are five wind turbines

Smart Energy
How can we generate, store, and distribute renewable energy more efficiently?

Smart Mobility
What can solutions for tomorrow look like to get people and goods from A to B in a more sustainable way?

Smart Infrastructure
How can road, rail, and shipping routes be retrofitted and how can the flow of traffic on them be controlled intelligently to save energy and reduce CO2 emissions?

Smart Industry
We are looking for digitization, networking, and automation solutions for greater energy efficiency and system availability in production.

Smart Building
How can industrial or residential buildings be operated more energy-efficiently through digitalization and automation?

Two young men are bent over a circuit, to the right stands a man gives the men an explanation

Education solutions to achieve qualifications for a sustainable world

Two young men are bent over a circuit, to the right stands a man gives the men an explanation

Automation for Beginners – it's possible even without calculus
The smallest, simplest applications can also generate huge effects. Have the courage to design concepts for teaching knowledge and skills in the field of automation without much prior knowledge.

Digital learning scenarios using AI, VR, and AR
Don’t shy away from using AI, VR, or AR, because learning environments and scenarios are becoming more and more interconnected and digital. You can shape the world of learning and teaching with the support of modern technologies.

Hybrid learning systems with collaborating interconnected systems
We are looking for teaching and learning systems on the diverse areas of application for a sustainable world, where both digital media and hardware are used. These can be operated at various locations and connected via a cloud.

Fun with technology
Show us how technical knowledge and its possible applications can be experienced in a creative and exciting way. Loosely based on the slogan “This makes technology fun to learn.”

Digital hardware
Digital twins vs. hardware models – is the combination the solution?


We’re excited to see what task you apply for with an idea...

A woman sits at a table with her notebook and speaks to a camera

Introduce yourself – with your idea for a sustainable world

Do you have an idea?
Then tell us about it in your 100-second video. Introduce yourself, your vision, and the team you would like to participate with at xplore 2023.

From all the entries, our jury will nominate 100 teams that will get to work on their solutions for a sustainable world with our full support starting in 08.09.2022. And even if not all teams make it to the winners’ podium in the end, the xplore competition has always been an extraordinary experience that unites – and is thus a win-win for everyone.

Please keep in mind that you must be at least 16 years old. If you are under 18 years of age, we need a confirmation of your parents when applying to xplore 2023.

The entire competition schedule

a timeline showing the different phases of the competition

Is your video finished?
Then upload it here directly.

Use our form to upload your application video and all necessary documents at a central location. Please make sure to send your entire application in one final submission. Data and files cannot be modified at a later time.

Choose a topic and come up with an idea for a sustainable solution.
Explain your idea for a solution in a 100-second video (max. 100 MiB, .mov, .mp4, .wmv) and also include your other project data (.pdf, .zip). Please add your video in English only.
Use the contact form to submit the video and additional information.

Information on the processing of your personal data in the context of participation in the xplore award can be found in the conditions of participation, supplementary, general information on the processing of personal data at Phoenix Contact can be found in the data protection information.

Please calculate 7 plus 6.

The contact persons

This is our xplore core team. If you have any questions about the competition, feel free to contact us.

Contact persons of the xplore project, two men and two women sitting on a couch and smile

From left to right: Klaus Hengsbach, Sarah Pyritz, Edmond Thevapalan, Tina Seehoefer

The patronage

Patronage by the industry

Nobody can really change the world alone not with the strongest technology in hand. It needs global cooperation, it needs global teams and what is the precondition for working in global teams? It's having at least a similar understanding of the technology, of the application and that needs a certain level of know-how, of education and training. That is what we as a company as Phoenix Contact, we are developing with our employees as well as we are doing it with our customers and our partners. With this interest we have developed many years ago the xplore competition.


Find out more in my personal video message.

Frank Stührenberg
CEO of Phoenix Contact

Patronage by the government

The climate crisis is one of the most important and most urgent challenges of our time. Only if we protect nature as the basis for life on our planet and respect planetary limits can we continue living in freedom and prosperity. We must accelerate the energy transition in order to achieve the necessary pace of change.

New technologies are needed on a large scale in order to shape our future in a sustainable way, and to make it more innovative, smarter and a more attractive place to live in. For this, we need people who think out of the box and who are dedicated and creative when implementing their visions. However, we lack around 280,000 skilled professionals, especially in the STEM occupations that are so necessary for this ecological transformation. And demand will continue to rise. By taking part in this competition, you have a unique opportunity to help us find the technological solutions we need for a sustainable world.

I wish all the participating technology enthusiasts from all over the world much fun, creativity and success and wish to thank Phoenix Contact and everyone involved for making this competition possible. We at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action are very much looking forward to the presentation of your ideas at the award ceremony.

Dr. Robert Habeck
Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action

The jury

Gunther Koschnick

Gunther Koschnick

ZVEI e. V.

Automation Division
Managing Director

Selina Kerscher

Selina Kerscher

University of Oviedo

PhD Candidate and Researcher in the field of Energy and Process Control

Dr. Frank Possel-Dölken

Dr. Frank Possel-Dölken

Phoenix Contact GmbH & Co. KG

Chief Digital Officer (CDO)

Dr. Gert Zinke

Dr. Gert Zinke

Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training

  • Department: Structure and order of vocational education
  • Work Area: Electrical, IT and Natural Science Professions
Prof. Dr. Martina Lehser

Prof. Dr. Martina Lehser

  • Center for Mechatronics and Automation Technologies (ZeMA), CEO
  • University of Applied Sciences (htw saar), Saabruecken, Head of Embedded Robotics Lab
Prof. Dr. Xiao Feng

Prof. Dr. Xiao Feng

Tongji University

  • Director of Sino-German College of Applied Sciences
  • Director of Sino-German College of Technical and Vocational Education
Dr. Susanne Franke

Dr. Susanne Franke

Don Bosco Mondo e.V.

Business Cooperation, Vocational Training Competence Team

Dr. Reinhard Hüppe

Dr. Reinhard Hüppe

New Automation e. V.

Chairman of the Board of Trustees

Anja Moldehn

Anja Moldehn

Centrum Industrial IT (CIIT) e. V.

Executive Board & Technology Management

Hubert Romer

Hubert Romer

WorldSkills Germany e. V.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Dr. Tanja Emmerling

Dr. Tanja Emmerling

High-Tech Gründerfonds

Partner and Head of Berlin

Active for you on site

All of our subsidiaries will support the competition, so you will definitely have a point of contact for your questions and answers nearby.

If you have any questions about the xplore Award 2023, please find your regional contact here.
We are there for you on site.

Eva Holzapfel-Zahlner


Dorota Czech


Vishal Kumar

India, Srilanka & Bangladesh

"हम ऐसे लोगों से प्यार करते हैं जो प्रौद्योगिकी की असीमित संभावनाओं के बारे में सोचते हैं। यह उन लोगों के लिए सबसे अच्छा मंच होगा जो अपनी कल्पनाओं को जीवन देना चाहते हैं"

Asta Blažytė

Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia

"This competition is a unique and exciting opportunity for young innovators to receive the recognition and support to implement their idea for a sustainable world. Join our technology award and make your idea a reality!"

Rute Silva


"Quantas vezes ouviste dizer que nós, os portugueses, somos muito “engenhosos”! Está no nosso ADN encontrar soluções. Submete a tua ideia para um projeto. Junta-te a nós para criarmos um mundo mais sustentável!"

Mathias Bäck


"Bevisa att de svenska ungdomarna tillhör de bäst utbildade och de mest kreativa hjärnorna i världen. Gå med i Phoenix Contact xplore Award, ladda upp din projektidé och få chansen att vinna en oförglömlig upplevelse på Phoenix Contacts huvudkontor i Tyskland."

Enrique Montes Rodriguez


"Esta nueva edición del proyecto Xplore va a ser muy singular y diferente a las anteriores ya que se culminará el año que viene coincidiendo con nuestro primer centenario. Por ello, queremos hacer de esta edición una oportunidad única y muy especial para todos los centros de formación para que tanto alumnos como profesores puedan desarrollar esa idea innovadora que nos ayude a todos a conseguir un mundo más sostenible. Si te apasiona como a nosotros la tecnología y el reto por mejorar el presente, estoy seguro que te interesará nuestra propuesta. Muchas gracias por tu atención, te esperamos."

Dania Liswi

Middle East Region

Zhenghan Li


Karl Declercq


Jerry Wise

United States

Christian Travaini


"Una piccola idea, un grande passo per l'umanità! Aiutaci a costruire un domani più sostenibile. Se la tecnologia è il tuo pane quotidiano, ti offriamo una grande opportunità per dare forma ai tuoi progetti. Unisciti alla nostra comunità globale di giovani appassionati per trasformare il tuo sogno in realtà: scendi in campo con noi!"

Rossella Zanelli


"AAA cercasi giovani innovatori! Partecipa anche tu a Xplore, una competizione globale che può trasformare le tue idee in veri e propri progetti. I piccoli passi che cambiano il mondo si fanno sempre assieme e noi non vediamo l'ora di poterti aiutare a costruire un futuro più sostenibile! Partecipa anche tu e unisciti ad una community globale di giovani inventori"

the company Phoenix Contact

The company Phoenix Contact

Phoenix Contact is a globally present, Germany-based market leader. Our group is synonymous with future-oriented components, systems, and solutions in the fields of electrical engineering, electronics, and automation. A global network across more than 100 countries and 17,600 employees ensure close proximity to our customers, which we believe is particularly important.

Together with customers and partners, we design solutions for the future using trend-setting connection and automation technology. Wherever they are needed – for example, in transportation infrastructure, electromobility, for clean water, regenerative energies and intelligent supply networks, or energy-efficient machine building and systems manufacturing.

We face up to technological developments and the associated changes in society. With almost 100 years of experience in the fields of machine building and automation, we are working on tomorrow's intelligent production today.

Find out more here:

partners of xplore

ZVEI: Die Elektroindustrie - Logo
newautomation "Innovation in education" - Logo
Afrika Verein - Logo
Tech Education - Logo
Apply now