Innovation Challenges

Credits: 5 | Identifier: NN00FD73-3006 | Campus: Online | Period: 22.10.2020

Innovation Challenges is all about solving problems in real life projects in multidisciplinary teams. You will learn to develop a concept and to use team learning to solve complicated problems. You will also develop valuable working life skills like performing, networking and successful team working. The course is built like an innovation process in practice and includes also materials and performing the outcome. The challenge can be the sustainable development of an industry or the market situation modified by COVID-19, for example.


During the course, students will resolve real-world challenges relating to the working world or the broader society and develop new creative solutions in multidisciplinary teams. The teams will also work together with the organisation that provided the challenge (internal or external partner). The challenges will be resolved by applying team learning methods. 

Upon completion of the course, you will: 

  • understand the design thinking principles in the context of an innovation project; 
  • be able to test ideas with different target groups;
  • be able to consider the customer perspective when resolving challenges;
  • be able to work effectively in a multidisciplinary team;
  • be able to challenge your own thinking and trust your team; 
  • receive feedback about your strengths, competencies and expertise;
  • be able to pitch your solution in English.

The term innovation challenge refers to a practical project that enable you to develop your expertise and creativity, set goals and achieve them together with your team. You will gain first-hand experience of innovation projects and apply your acquired knowledge in practice.  

Cases in the second period:

1. Reumaliitto is a Finnish association offering activities, knowledge, peer support and networks for people with rheumatism and musculoskeletal disorders. The association consists of 141 independent member organisations.

Reumaliitto is challenging the students with this challenge:

To find, understand and propose a concept for a digital platform for the patients with rheumatism and musculoskeletal disorders for networking and peer support.


2. Rematch is a company in the circular economy field. The company´s purpose is to recycle used gaming equipment by buying, repairing if necessary, and selling the devices to a new happy owner.

Rematch is challenging the student teams with this challenge:

To understand, find and propose a new service model to find sales-willing customers with old gaming equipment, to buy, repair and sell them to the new owner.


3. Kehitysvammatuki 57 Ry is a non-governmental organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and for their families. The organization organizes different kind of events, clubs and activities for the clients to participate. The COVID situation has made the participation difficult for the clients who are unable to communicate alone from home through digital devices.

Kehitysvammatuki 57 Ry wants to challenge the student team to:

Find, understand, and propose a method to enable participation to the activities for clients who are unable to use the communicative devices alone. This could include guiding the nursing staff and activating other clients who are more independent, for example.


4. Cireco is one of Finland’s leading company in the circular economy field. The company´s goal is to improve the quality and value of products and materials created under the principles of circular economy. There is a growing demand for circular economy solutions on the market and these solutions play an important role in achieving EU, national, and regional climate goals.

Cireco is challenging the student teams in with these challenges:

A: To understand, find and propose what kind of ecosystems can be connected around different circular economy themes? This could include individuals, companies, schools, organizations etc.

B: To understand, find and propose the fastest way to reduce emissions through systemic change in your nearby ecosystem and to propose transparent ways to offset emissions.


5. Palmikko is a Finnish wholesaler of hairdressing products & equipment for hairdressing professionals and consumers.

Palmikko is challenging the students with this challenge:

To find, understand and propose a concept to implement an international, multi-channel shop-in-shop online platform in the hairdressing industry.


22.10.-10.12.2020 on Thursdays 10:00-14:00 @ONLINE.


To pass the course, you must demonstrate your understanding of the innovation challenge provided by a customer and team up with your fellow students to address the challenge. You will be expected to generate potential solutions, plan the testing of ideas, and develop ideas into functional solutions.   You and your team must propose diverse solutions to the customer.   

A student will receive a failing grade if he or she is not able to independently describe the importance and purpose of the course learning outcomes for his or her learning and that of the team. A student will fail the course if he or she does not contribute to the activities set out in the team’s project plan and to resolving the provided challenge.   


TAMK students: Pakki
TAU students: Cross-institutional service

Course code is NN00FD73-3006.


If you have some questions about this course, please contact Minttu.

Minttu Ripatti,

Picture of a light bulb on yellow background. Basic info about Innovation Challenges.