1 The purpose and objectives of the competition
The Helsinki Challenge is an international science-based competition and idea accelerator that aims to discover solutions to grand challenges and for the future well-being. A competition entry may be an idea, invention, concept, research project, business idea, initiative or a new research question (hereafter "competition entry").
The Helsinki Challenge promotes social impact and interdisciplinary cooperation and features innovations from different fields.
The competition entries are assessed based on how novel, creative, solution-focused, science-driven and impactful they are. The entries that pass the qualifying round have been deemed according to the above criteria to have the most potential and will be promoted during the competition by joining the forces of the competition participants, the University of Helsinki and its interest groups, Helsinki Challenge partner universities as well as experts from various fields.
Helsinki Challenge is created, implemented and organised by the University of Helsinki (hereafter “the organiser”). Helsinki Challenge 2016-2017 partner universities are the following Finnish universities: 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, Åbo Akademi University (hereafter “Helsinki Challenge partner universities”).
The board of the Universities Finland (“Unifi”) is responsible for making any significant decisions concerning the competition and the participating teams. You can contact the Helsinki Challenge Crew firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The University of Helsinki, and Helsinki Challenge partner universities, invite all researchers, students and non-academic staff members, as well as other actors, organisations, communities and associations affiliated with the University of Helsinki, or any of the Helsinki Challenge partner universities, to participate in the Helsinki Challenge competition.
Established teams can register for the competition or a team can be assembled as the competition progresses towards the qualifying round.
By the qualifying round, the teams must be fully established. A team participating in the competition must have a minimum of three (3) and a maximum of ten (10) members. The teams must nominate a team leader, a contact person, and a communications liaison. The contact person must submit to the organiser an email address for all competition-related notifications and announcements. The communications liaison will be responsible for the team’s communications in a manner reasonably required by the organiser.
The aim is that the teams will include students, researchers or other staff members from more than one of the Helsinki Challenge partner universities or the organiser, as well as other actors of the society (for example business, decision makers, media, public sector, associations, communities etc.) . A person can belong to only one team. The team leader must be affiliated with the University of Helsinki or one of the Helsinki Challenge partner universities.
Participation in the competition implies that the team and every team member fully accept these rules.
3 The competition procedure and timetable
The Helsinki Challenge call for applications will open August 16th, 2016 and the competition will terminate with the announcement of the winner(s) in December 2017. The competition procedure is as follows:
16 August 2016 - 31 October 2016: Participants register for the competition, build their teams and define the problem/challenge to be solved.
15 November 2016: Participants submit their competition entries for the qualifying round.
16 November 2016 - 31 December 2016: The jury for the qualifying round selects the entries for the accelerator programme.
1 January 2017 - 30 June 2017: The teams participate in the accelerator programme.
15 May 2017 - 30 June 2017: The teams submit their entries for the final and the jury selects the finalists.
1 July 2017 - 30 November 2017: The finalist teams participate in the accelerator programme.
24th November 2017: Announcement of the winner(s) and presentation of the prize.
The online team registration form can be found here. Registrations by means other than the online form will be automatically rejected. Teams that submit an incomplete form will be requested to provide the necessary information within a separately set deadline.
The organiser reserves the right to reject the registration and participation of a team if it finds that the activities of the team or its members or the team’s competition entry are in breach of these rules.
The organiser is not responsible for malfunctions of the data network, or for software or hardware that may cause the team’s registration data to disappear or be delayed during its transmission to the organiser.
The team’s contact person will receive a notification of the approval or rejection of the registration and a request to provide supplementary information, if necessary.
4 Assessment criteria and the jury
The Helsinki Challenge competition aims to discover solutions to grand challenges and for the future well-being. Competition entries may include ideas, inventions, concepts, research projects, business ideas, initiatives or new research questions. The assessment criteria in both the qualifying and final rounds of the competition focus on how novel, creative, solution-focused, science-driven and impactful the competition entries are.
The jury for the qualifying round selects the teams for the accelerator programme stage of the competition. The jury for the final round selects the finalists and winner/winners. The juries base their decision on the ranking of the competition entries according to the assessment criteria listed above. The jury members for the qualifying and final rounds will be announced on the Helsinki Challenge website.
The organiser reserves the right not to declare a winner if the jury finds that none of the competition entries submitted by the participating teams fulfils the assessment criteria.The jury’s decision is not subject to appeal.
5 The prize and terms for awarding it
The competition prize is 375,000 euros.The prize will be awarded to at least one (1), and not more than three (3) competition entries deemed best by the jury of the final round on the basis of the assessment criteria. If necessary, the jury will also determine the division of the prize money between several teams.
The prize money is a development grant for implementing the idea of the competition entry in the fashion described in the competition entry or project plan. The winner(s) must report to the organiser on the use of the prize money.
Any funds made available, as the prize or otherwise, to a team by the organiser, the Helsinki Challenge partner universities, or their collaborators pursuant to the team’s participation in the competition, shall be exclusively used for implementing the team’s competition entry in the fashion described in the competition entry or project plan (such funds hereinafter “competition funds”). The competition funds shall be used by the team by the end of 2019 if not otherwise agreed in writing with the organiser.
Competition funds will be distributed to the team through the organiser or the Helsinki Challenge partner university to which the team’s leader is affiliated. Competition funds will be administered in accordance with the principles of the distributing university’s internal research grants and any other rules applicable to the competition funds in question.
In the event that none of the team members are employed by either the organiser or a Helsinki Challenge partner university, the organiser and the team will agree on a mutually acceptable arrangement for the disbursement of the competition funds in accordance with the principles set out in these rules.
The organisation distributing competition funds to a team shall have the right to deduct and withhold any applicable taxes from such funds.
6 The organiser’s rights and responsibilities
During and after the competition, the organiser and the Helsinki Challenge partner universities and their collaborators have the right to publish and communicate, on their external and internal websites and other internal and external communication channels, the names of the teams and their members as well as descriptions of the competition entries. For this purpose each team member hereby grants the aforementioned the right to use the name and pictures of the team and the team members in, among other things, press releases, marketing material, articles, and videos. The team understands that the competition entries will be presented to the juries, the other participating teams and various third parties in different events arranged during the competition.
The organiser may disqualify a team that does not observe the rules of the competition or follow the instructions provided or submits deficient or incorrect information to the organiser. Also, the organiser has the right to disqualify a team if it finds that the team or its members violate current Finnish law or breach applicable ethical guidelines and practices. The organiser is not obligated to give detailed grounds for the disqualification of a team. The disqualification shall be notified in writing to the team’s contact person. The team’s participation in the competition terminates immediately when the disqualification notification has been sent. After the disqualification, the submitted written material relevant to the competition entry will be returned to the team’s contact person. The organiser shall not exploit a disqualified competition entry.
A team may at any time withdraw from the competition by notifying the organiser thereof. The organiser retains the right to amend these rules during the competition. Any amendments to the rules will be announced, and the revised rules will be published on the competition website. Any amendment to the rules will enter into force at the time of their publishing.
7 Intellectual Property rights
Unless terms associated with third party funding specifically requires otherwise, ownership and title to all results, data, information, inventions and material developed with funds from the competition, and any intellectual property rights associated or pertaining thereto anywhere in the world (hereinafter “results”) shall belong to the person who created it, if not otherwise agreed within the team. For the avoidance of doubt, the results shall not include results, data, information, and material to the extent it was produced or generated with other funding or resources than competition funds. Each team member hereby grants to the organiser and each Helsinki Challenge partner university, free of charge and royalty free, a non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual right to use the results for research and teaching purposes and to grant sublicenses for these purposes. The right granted to the organiser and each Helsinki Challenge partner university includes the right to modify the results and to create derivative works from the results. The organiser and each Helsinki Challenge partner university shall adhere to good scientific practice in its use of the results and the creator of the results shall be credited in accordance with the good scientific practice of the relevant field.
The team shall in all of its activities during and after the competition, to the extent related to the competition or the results, name the Helsinki Challenge competition and its contribution to the team and any results, by e.g. affixing the competition’s name on presentation material and possible webpage.
The team and each team member represent and warrant that their competition entry and participation in the competition does not during the competition violate any rights of a third party. The team shall without delay notify the organiser if it becomes aware of a claim by a third party to the results, due to, for example third party intellectual property rights.
8 The rights and responsibilities of the teams and their members
The team is responsible for the accuracy and correctness of the data it submits to the organiser. Until a competition entry has been made public by the relevant team or the organiser, team members may not disclose information that they have obtained during the competition which concerns competition entries of other teams.
In the event that a team member is an employee of the organiser or any Helsinki Challenge partner university, the Helsinki Challenge competition rules shall not limit a team member’s rights and obligations as an employee, as for example the obligation to submit an invention disclosure to the employer. The organiser, or any Helsinki Challenge partner university, shall however not assume ownership of such an invention if it was exclusively made using the competition funds (unless terms associated with third party funding specifically requires it to).
If a team member is not an employee of the organiser, or a Helsinki Challenge partner university, nothing herein shall be considered to form an employee relationship between the aforementioned.
Not every member of the team must be present at every event, but the team shall reasonably cooperate with the organiser by taking part in events related to the competition or the theme of the competition, organized by the organiser or its collaborators, during the term of the competition and for a reasonable time after the competition.
The team represents and warrants: 1) that it complies with all applicable laws, regulations and ethical guidelines applicable to their work in the competition and that they have obtained all necessary permissions and ethical approvals applicable to the work before the commencement of such work; 2) that if the work includes the use of human subjects or personal data, that it has obtained the necessary permissions, ethical approvals and informed consents before commencement of the work and handling of such information; and 3) that it will not in the competition conduct clinical trials, as defined by applicable legislation (in Finland: Laki lääketieteellisestä tutkimuksesta, 488/1999).
The teams that pass the qualifying round commit to developing and translating into practice their competition entries in collaboration with the organiser and the Helsinki Challenge partner universities and their collaborators.
To the extent allowed under law, the organiser and each Helsinki Challenge partner university shall have no liability whatsoever to the team or a team member for any damage, claim or liability arising out of the competition, the Helsinki Challenge competition rules, or any competition funds made available to the team.
The team shall be solely liable for the use of any competition funds and any damage, claim or liability arising out of or in connection with the team’s actions or inactions. The team shall indemnify, defend and hold the organiser and the Helsinki Challenge partner universities harmless from any claim arising out of concerning any violation of these rules or any violations of applicable laws, regulations or ethical guidelines by the team.
This competition shall be governed by the laws of Finland. Decisions by the organiser, the juries or the Unifi board, are not subject to appeal. Without affecting the generality of the aforementioned, any dispute, controversy or claim arising out of or in connection with the competition or the Helsinki Challenge competition rules, or the breach, termination or invalidity thereof, shall be settled by the District Court of Helsinki as the first instance.