Call for action to change our world – join Helsinki Challenge!

11 Oct 2016

The science-based idea competition Helsinki Challenge brings together the academic community and society at large to solve the world’s grand challenges in cooperation. The competition themes Sustainable Planet, Urban Future and People in Change are linked to the UN’s sustainable development goals. The €375,000 prize is meant for implementing the idea.

We are meeting at a time of immense challenges to sustainable development. United Nations has introduced the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to change our world. The objective of these 17 goals is to build a better future for all of us. These goals are universal and belong to us all: countries, cities, companies, schools, you and me. This is our common agenda.

To solve grand challenges we need multidisciplinary approaches, broad-minded thinking and bold boundary crossings. Helsinki Challenge is a platform for collaboration: science and arts communities, business, decision makers, public sector and other actors of the society – we all need to join the movement to make the goals for sustainable development reality.

Meet some of the Helsinki Challenge teams 2014-2015

Development of the world’s first operational offset market mechanism to prevent the reduction of the global biodiversity of nature. The sleep application and empowering virtual sleep program to help adolescents to learn about their sleep and their circadian rhythm. The prototype of the sense sleeve which enables transmitting emotions without seeing the other person. The smartphone application, which would help consumers to know whether the product is safe for a pregnant mother and her baby. These and many other solutions were developed during the first Helsinki Challenge. Check out some articles and videos below

Team leader Professor Markku Ollikainen&team BiodiversityNow

Team leader Researcher Michael Laakasuo and team Moralities of Intelligent Machines


Team leader Professor Anu-Katriina Pesonen and team Helsinki Sleep Factory


Team leader Researcher Katri Saarikivi and team NEMO


Team leader Professor Katri Räikkönen and team Safepreg

Define the challenge, build a team, submit the competition entry!

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.

For further information kindly participate Challenge clinic, October 12th  at 3-5pm, Minerva Plaza, Siltavuorenpenger 5A, ground floor. In the Clinics participants can ask questions and gain more information about the competition. Participants looking for team members or team to join are also most welcome. Registration to the Clinics at Helsinki Challenge website.

Two stages

The jury for the qualifying round will select max 20 teams for the idea accelerator program, which will support teams to develop their ideas with a variety of tools and Finnish and international mentors during 2017.

The final 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 currently available information on the competition.



More information

Ira Leväaho, Helsinki Challenge Project Manager
University of Helsinki, Tel. +358 50 505 8152 #helsinkichallenge youtube Helsinki Challenge


The science-based idea competition Helsinki Challenge is organized by the University of Helsinki 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.

Last modified 11 Oct 2016
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