Helsinki Challenge to return bigger and better

The science-based idea competition Helsinki Challenge will be held again. This time the University of Helsinki organises the competition in collaboration with Aalto University, Hanken School of Economics, University of Eastern Finland, University of Jyväskylä, University of Oulu, University of the Arts Helsinki, University of Turku, University of Vaasa and Åbo Akademi University. The winner will be announced in conjunction with the centennial of Finland's independence.
The Helsinki Challenge competition, that culminated last autumn in the victory of the NEMO team which is researching ways to convey emotion on the Internet, garnered a great deal of interest both in Finland and internationally. Based on these positive experiences, the decision was made to continue the Helsinki Challenge this time in cooperation with other Finnish universities. Another new partner is the Helsinki EU Office, which will help organise an event in Brussels focusing on research funding and EU decision-making.

Solutions to global problems will be sought by multidisciplinary teams, all vying for the €375,000 prize. The Helsinki Challenge is part of Finland's centennial celebrations.

“The winner will be revealed when Finland celebrates its 100th year of independence in December 2017,” explains Ira Leväaho, project manager for the competition.

Build­ing on sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment goals

The Helsinki Challenge themes: Sustainable Plant, Urban Future and People in Change are linked to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The intention is to create solutions for future wellbeing through cooperation with a range of different institutions.

“The competition enhances the interaction between the academic community and other societal institutions while providing participants with the skills they need to build partnerships, acquire research funding and promote research,” Leväaho explains.

Multidisciplinary teams consisting of experts from the academic and artistic communities, the business world, the public and third sectors, media as well as desicion makers and other actors of the society are welcome to take part in the competition. Each team must have members from both universities and other organisations.

Jump in!

Now is the time to put your team together, since registration for the competition closes on 31 October. The final competition proposal must be submitted by 15 November.

“During September and October, we will be hosting Challenge clinics where we will provide further information about the competition as well as help the teams define their challenge and build their networks. In addition to Helsinki, we will organise clinics in Turku, Vaasa, Oulu and Jyväskylä,” Leväaho says.

The jury for the qualifying round will select max 20 teams for the idea accelerator programme, which will develop and refine the teams’ entries through a variety of tools as well as with the help of Finnish and international mentors during 2017.

The finals jury will first select the finalists from among the semifinalists and then the winner or winners, who will be announced in December 2017.

Register for the competition through the Helsinki Challenge website, which features all additional information on the competition.