Helsinki Challenge to return bigger and better

The science-based idea competition Helsinki Challenge will be held again, in cooperation with Finnish universities. 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 nine 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 again 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 themes in the new Helsinki Challenge 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 politics are welcome to take part in the competition. Each team must have members from both the University of Helsinki or another Helsinki Challenge partner university 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 and Jyväskylä,” Leväaho says.

The jury for the qualifying round will select 20 or more 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.

Helsinki Challenge partner 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