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InnoEvent harnesses 600 university students to invent solutions to challenges in the circular economy

Published on 30.10.2019
Tampere Universities
InnoEventin ryhmä. Kuva:Meresz Marton
Tampere University’s innovation festival InnoEvent Tampere brings together university students, businesses and municipalities. Over a week, more than 100 multidisciplinary student teams work hard to find new solutions to challenges related to the circular economy and occupational restructuring.

On Monday 11 November at 13.00–13-30, the keynote speaker in the InnoEvent day is Henkka Hyppönen, coach and non-fiction author. The festival’s challenges are introduced in the same event that also gathers the representatives of businesses and municipalities. The festival venue has been constructed in an indoor sports arena.

On Wednesday 6 November at 13.00–13.15, the keynote speech is given by Ilkka Herlin, Chair of the Board of Tampere University. At 13.30–16, the teams present their ideas to the clients and get feedback.

On Friday 8 November at 8.15-15.00, the teams present their solutions to a jury.

600 students participate in the InnoEvent which is organised for the 7th time.

“InnoEvent gives students the opportunity to see at a close range what kind of development projects businesses are currently working on both in the Finnish and international markets and which themes municipalities are promoting,” says Project Manager Sanna Hellsten.

“At the festival, students practise skills that are valued in the business world: interaction skills, critical thinking, creativity, negotiation skills and decision-making. For the students, InnoEvent is a way to gain hands-on experience,” Hellsten continues.

For companies and municipalities, the festival provides an opportunity to leverage the innovative power of multidisciplinary student teams, gain new perspectives on their own operations and network with future professionals from different fields.

“By participating in the InnoEvent, companies and organisations can search for new product or service innovations, develop their processes, or look for a long-term vision on a future challenge," Hellsten says.

The theme is the circular economy

The main theme of the festival, the circular economy, is reflected in the challenges to be solved and the organisation of the event. For example, UPM Raflatac's Waste to Value challenge in Tampere is seeking new solutions for using the by-products of their processes and the K Group is looking for new services or ways to reduce food waste in households. Some teams create business ideas on the themes included in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The student participants come from 58 education and degree programmes ranging from bioproducts and process engineering to political science and nursing. Students from 19 fields at TAMK and 37 fields at Tampere University will participate.

The festival is supported by Ilkka Herlin, Chair of the Board of Tampere University, who is also one of the founding members of the Baltic Sea Action Group. The Innoevent is organised by a project team of seven students from the Tampere Universities community who have worked for ten months to organise the festival.  

This year, InnoEvent Tampere’s partners, which have all created a challenge include Valmet, Kone, K Group, UPM Raflatac Tampere, Moovy, Osuuspankki, City of Tampere, Bright, City of Orivesi, City of Virrat, Municipality of Ruovesi, Patria, Valio, Myllyn Paras, City of Nokia, Municipality of Pirkkala, Veikkaus, Digicampus, Biocode, and Keva.

Tampere Universities Community comprises Tampere University and Tampere University of Applied Sciences. The community has more than 30,000 students and 4,000 employees. The spearheads of the higher education community are technology, health and society.

InnoEvent Tampere from Monday 4 November to Friday 8 November.
Kauppi Sport Center, address: Kuntokatu 17, Tampere

InnoEvent online
Project Manager Sanna Hellsten
InnoEvent Tampere
tel. 0400 456 190, sanna-kaisa.hellsten [at]

Photograph: Meresz Marton