Helsingin yliopisto

Solving The Global Water Challenge: University of Helsinki participates in International Innovation, Startup & Sustainability Action

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The University of Helsinki becomes partner in the Global Water Challenge in October 2021 with a launch in Helsinki. The aim of the Challenge is to attract Nordic and Baltic startups to present solutions in AI, IoT, Digital Twins, 5G, Cyber Security and Robotics among others that can help solve challenges such as floods, irrigation, water shortages, polluted water and environmental issues in cities and regions around the world. Also, these solutions could be used by industry in other sectors.

In Finland, the Global Water Challenge is managed by the Innovation & Entrepreneurship team at the University of Helsinki.

– We are involved in the Global Water Challenge for multiple reasons, says Alfonso Gutierrez from the University's I&E Team.

– Firstly, because it directly addresses key and core values of our University, ie. do our part and take actions to solve some of the world’s climate change challenges, benefit our planet and make it more sustainable.

He reminds that Finland, one of the most innovative countries in the word, has also sustainability and taking actions to address and solve global environmental issues on the top of its agenda.

– Secondly, we have extensive knowledge and research expertise at our University in water-related (and other) topics can benefit organizations and corporates. Thirdly, taking part stimulates our University students and researchers to create innovation and be involved in spinoffs/startups that can make a global difference in sustainability. Fourthly, it makes business and economic sense, says Gutierrez.

The Five Startup Finalist of the Global Water Challenge will be presented in Slush 2021 at the Nordea booth along with presentations by all the Challenge partners. Startup Finalists in the Global Water Challenge could receive financial investments from Global Omnium, obtain new business develop opportunities or partnerships with the corporate partners or their networks, and access to research and innovation activities and platforms in the Finnish hi-tech ecosystem.

B y being part of actions such as the Global Water Challenge, the University is a channel and innovation platform to open doors that can create new innovations, IP that can be licensed to corporates or to spinoffs/startups, and in turn create new high value job opportunities and attract international talent and students to Finland, adds Gutierrez.

The Global Water Challenge is organized by Global Omnium, one of the largest water utilities in the world based in Spain, and Nordea and IBM are also among its partners. The event will have a Roundtable at the University of Helsinki’s Think Corner on November 3rd with participation by all the partners including some researchers from the University of Helsinki.

For further information, you may contact Alfonso Gutierrez: alfonso.gutierrez@helsinki.fi or mobile: +358 50 432 1815.

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The University of Helsinki is located in Finland. It is the oldest and largest institution of academic education in the country. The university is an international scientific community of 40,000 students and researchers. In international university rankings, the University of Helsinki typically ranks among the top 100. Through the power of science, the University has contributed to society, education and welfare since 1640.

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