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Tapojärvi is organising the international Innovation Challenge competition for students for the third time. The competition aims to increase students’ understanding of the challenges of an industrial circular economy and help them develop sustainable solutions for industrial side streams through new product and service innovations.
Tapojärvi sought to grow the 2023 competition by working together with EIT RawMaterials. EIT RawMaterials’ mission is to support securing the supply of critical raw materials to the European industry by driving innovation along the raw materials value chain.
This year, the central theme of the competition is the utilisation of side streams from three industries: stainless steel industry, mining industry and forest industry. The competition received applications from a total of 29 teams from 22 universities. The teams, totalling 71 students, represented 43 different nationalities.
The experts of EIT RawMaterials selected 21 applications for the competition, which were then evaluated by Tapojärvi’s panel of experts. The panel evaluated factors such as the business potential of the idea and the innovation’s applicability at Tapojärvi.
Ten teams were invited to an online event, where they were given an opportunity to pitch their solution to the representatives of Tapojärvi and EIT RawMaterials. After the prequalification, five teams advanced to the final round. The finalists consist mainly of European university students, but students from as far as Canada will participate in the final in Tornio, Finland.
The final takes place in Tornio, Finland, where the finalists will present their innovations to an international jury who will question the teams about product development.
The jury consists of Fernando Camponi, HSE Manager, Acciai Speciali Terni; Mikko Hyytinen, Head of Business Excellence BA Ferrochrome, Outokumpu Chrome Oy; Laurence Lamm, Senior Advisor, Mineral and Metallurgical Processes, EIT Raw materials; and Conny Robertsson, Account Manager, Tapojärvi Sverige Ab.
The three best innovations submitted to the competition will receive a cash prize of EUR 15,000. In addition, the winning team’s innovation may be developed into a sustainable circular economy service product at Tapojärvi.
Facts about the competition: