What if the general public got to decide which problems science should solve in the future?
Helsinki Challenge is a science-based idea competition in which researchers develop solutions for global social problems, such as climate change and the ageing population. The twenty research teams in the competition will try to win over the audience through five-minute speeches at the pitch nights on 6–7 June. The team with the most votes from the audience will get to continue in the competition and vie for the €375,000 prize awarded in November.
Aalto well represented in competing for a place in the final
'The University's key goal is to create cutting-edge knowledge and technology that will enable us to offer solutions to the most pressing societal challenges. I am, therefore, very pleased that we have such a strong representation, with eight Aalto-lead teams, in the Helsinki Challenge semifinal. I'd like to encourage everyone to vote an Aalto team into the final', says Tuija Pulkkinen, Vice President for research and innovation at Aalto University.
The Aalto-lead semifinalists are:
- Catalyst Supreme develops catalyst materials that would make the chemical industry cleaner and the world more sustainable
- F-Factor wants to change the way cities are developed.
- HeatStock wants to develop a material that stores heat for a long time.
- Ioncell is developing a new type of cellulose fiber made out of Finnish wood.
- Pro Fibers wants to put forests to good use instead of clearing them for arable land.
- Reconfigure Mobility wants to create a network of experts who will solve the challenges of sustainable mobility.
- Senior Cognitive Booster wants to reduce the cognitive decline that we face as we age.
- Wave Farmers – Our sensing device would help sustain a healthy soil ecosystem
Other finalists chosen by international jury
The remaining Helsinki Challenge finalist teams will be announced on 19 June, when the competition jury selects six teams to join the audience favourite in the final round in the autumn. The jury includes Frank Geels, Professor of system innovation and sustainability at the University of Manchester, and Andreas Kaju, an Estonian political expert. The Chair of the jury is Tuija Talvitie, Executive Director at the Crisis Management Initiative (CMI).
'I believe that Finnish science can change the world. The competition is based on science and social impact. Our multidisciplinary jury will evaluate the teams’ proposed solutions on this basis. It will be exciting to see how the audience votes and the jury decisions correlate,' says Talvitie.
The semifinalists will compete for a direct entry into the finals during the Helsinki Challenge Semifinal Pitch Nights on 6 and 7 June at 18.00 in the Great Hall of the University of Helsinki’s Main Building. The events will be in English, free of charge, and available through a live stream. The team to receive the most votes during the events will be announced at 20.00 on 7 June.
#finland100 #aalto #helsinkichallenge
- Helsinki Challenge Semifinal Pitch Night programme (challenge.helsinki.fi)
- Team ideas (challenge.helsinki.fi)
- The Jury (challenge.helsinki.fi)
Helsinki Challenge is an idea competition and accelerator programme running from January to November 2017, in which research groups develop science-based solutions to help humanity reach the UN’s sustainable development goals. During the competition, the teams receive support from experts, decision-makers, as well as from representatives of industry and business. The award sum is €375,000.
Helsinki Challenge is carried out in cooperation between Finnish universities and is part of the programme for Finland’s centenary year. In addition to the University of Helsinki, the competition is organised by Aalto University, the Hanken School of Economics, the University of Eastern Finland, the University of Jyväskylä, the University of Oulu, the University of the Arts Helsinki, the University of Turku, the University of Vaasa and Åbo Akademi University.