Helsinki Challenge: 3 in 1 – A competition, an idea accelerator and the flagship of Finnish science

Helsinki Challenge is a science-based idea competition in which teams of scientists from ten Finnish universities work on solutions that help the humankind reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The solution could be anything from a new scientific field to a commercialisable idea, entrepreneurship or pioneering research.

Multidisciplinary teams fight wicked problems

SDGs consist of a set of 17 measurable goals set in 2015. The goals range from providing the world with clean energy to ensuring access to safe and affordable drinking water for everyone by 2030. To solve these grand challenges we need multidisciplinary approaches, broad-minded thinking and bold boundary crossings. This is why Helsinki Challenge is a platform for collaboration: science meets business, decision makers, non-governmental organizations and representatives of public sector.

The road leads from ideas to solutions

Helsinki Challenge is also an idea accelerator program. During the one year process teams develop their ideas into solutions in bootcamps, meetings and workshops. They receive mentoring from a wide range of professionals, build partnerships and collaborations and are trained in various skills such as pitching and design thinking. Each team-member gains valuable new skills and insights for the future. They will know how to acquire partnerships and funding, build new kinds of collaborative efforts and develop proposals arising from research.

In November the winner will be announced

The Helsinki Challenge is an effort by the Finnish universities to make science visible, enable new science-based research proposals and strengthen the dialogue between science and wider society.

The competition prize is 375,000 euros for the implementation of the solution.

The prize is just one of the competition’s benefits. Even if a team doesn’t win the competition, their idea is likely to have a bright future because of the new partnerships formed and competences discovered during the journey.