Innovation Competition for Air Quality Solutions

Artikkelikuva: Innovation Competition for Air Quality Solutions

Rules of the innovation competition Healthy Outdoor Premises for Everyone (HOPE) 2020

Background information

Reliable and precise real-time information on air quality is being developed in Helsinki for use by the city’s residents. In the HOPE project, air quality is being monitored in three environments with different types of challenges related to air quality: Jätkäsaari, Pakila and Mäkelänkatu–Kumpulankatu in Vallila. The European Union has granted funding to the project to the amount of EUR 4.7 million. 

Urban Innovative Action – Healthy Outdoor Premises for Everyone HOPE is a project coordinated by the City of Helsinki that develops new precise information on air quality and its innovative utilisation at the level of city districts and residents.

Forum Virium is implementing an innovation competition within the project, in which it seeks theme-specific innovations from companies for testing in a real environment. The competition utilises the measurement data gathered during the project, ideas and proposals from residents and companies, and open data available in the Helsinki region.

Nature of the competition

Through the competition, Forum Virium Helsinki will procure experiments to be carried out in the Helsinki region as part of the UIA HOPE project. The procurement is subject to the current Act on Public Procurement and Concession Contracts. A separate notice on public procurement has been published about the competition via HILMA. In this context, the references to an innovation competition in the text mean experiments for which the client will cover the expenses based on fixed compensation. The word prize refers to the purchase value of the experiment. The purchase values of the different experiments will be published concurrently with the HILMA notice.


The language used in the competition is Finnish. Some of the materials may be in English, depending on factors such as the presenters at events. The purchasing party (Forum Virium Helsinki) will not translate materials into English separately. The companies participating in the competition may use English at their own discretion. Tenders submitted to the competition in English will not be rejected outright as inadmissible.

Who can participate?

The competition is open to companies with a business ID. The personnel and administration of Forum Virium Helsinki Oy and their interest groups may not participate in the competition.

Support available during the competition and coaching days

The competitors will have the opportunity to take advantage of the expertise of the expert network of the UIA HOPE project on coaching days. 

For further information, please contact: Pekka Niskasaari

Separate themes of the competition

Participation themes of the competition

IoT theme

Opportunities for the developers of devices and the applications closely related to them. Data is created with new devices, it may be combined with existing data and it is presented in a clever way.

Data and AI theme

New insights, as well as guidance and information that support activities, can be produced by using and combining existing data sources. The implementation of the innovation involves artificial intelligence, machine learning and/or new algorithms.

Cross Innovation theme

Cross-innovations are formed from solutions to themes 1 and 2, by adding something new and unprecedented to them.

These innovations can be brainstormed and implemented freely, with the aim of producing new and innovative services for citizens and/or decision-makers by utilising the project’s findings and open data.

Competitors may participate in all competition categories with separate tenders/proposals.

Available initial data

 The participants may utilise the open data of the Helsinki region as well as data produced in the project, which may have been partly pre-processed according to the European General Data Protection Regulation, safeguarding the privacy of the collectors of the data.

Additionally, the UIA HOPE project has produced observations and information about needs. This information will be presented at events and sessions related to the project. All information is available to the participants in the form of presentations and presentation recordings.

The questions asked during events or electronically and the answers to these questions are published on Forum Virium’s UIA HOPE FAQ page online or as articles, and they are also available to all participants by separate request.

Events and sessions can be attended in person or watched via Forum Virium Helsinki’s YouTube channel. You can participate in the discussion on the YouTube channel by signing in with your own Google ID.

Link to all data sources 


Schedule of the innovation competition

Described in this article.

Participation in the competition

Competitors can participate in the competition by submitting a separate form between 15 March 2020 and 11:59 pm on 31 July 2020.

Link to the tender form

Project events

9 June 2020 9–11 am Kick-off event

Download the kick-off event presentations

10 June 2020 9 am–12 noon Info session on the IoT theme as well as the Data and AI theme


Download the presentations


10 June 2020 2–4 pm Info session on the Cross Innovation theme

Download the presentations

Mikko Laakso, Vaisala Oyj

Coaching days

On the coaching days (15 and 16 June 2020), the companies participating in the competition can discuss their competition entries for 30 minutes and improve on them until 11:59 pm on 31 July 2020. The participants must book a 30-minute timeslot for a one-on-one conversation in advance. Participation in the coaching days is voluntary, and it does not affect the assessment of the tenders/proposals. Sign up for the coaching days through the link on the page. 

Competition entries chosen for presentation to the jury

The competition entries that will presented to the jury will be chosen by the project team on 3 August 2020. The project team will inform the participants of their decision.

The preselection will be based on assessment criteria.

Presentation of competition entries

The preselected competition entries will be presented to the jury on 5 August 2020, after which the jury will choose the best tenders from among them for the experiment programme. 

Each presentation will last 10 minutes. This presentation time cannot be extended, and all presentations are scheduled for the day in question.

The event is public for the participants, which is why each presenter must ensure sufficient protection of intellectual property rights at their own discretion.

The final selection will be based on assessment criteria.

Once they have been presented, competition entries can no longer be changed, and the presentation is part of the assessment.

The results of the competition will be published on 7 August 2020, and the notifications will be sent out to the operators at the latest on 10 August 2020.

Location: to be announced later.

Experiment programme

The dates will be confirmed to the winners at a later date.

The experiment programme and its payment terms will be confirmed with a separate agreement.

The prizes do not include VAT. The prize/experiment will be paid for against an invoice. The experiment will be paid for in one or more instalments, depending on the scope of the experiment and the supplier’s resources. The payment term is defined in the agreement.

Companies that participate in an experiment have a separate reporting obligation that is agreed upon based on the terms of the agreement.

Forum Virium Helsinki will assist the suppliers of experiments in finding contact persons related to their experiment within the City of Helsinki, and it will also facilitate experiment activities that are positive for the supplier by other means.

Forum Virium Helsinki and the City of Helsinki retain the right to use the experiment activities and tender process in their communications.

The agreements will be signed towards the end of August (starting from 10 August 2020). The experiment periods will start from this date and last for 12 months.

Assessment of competition entries

The procurement criteria are 20% price and 80% qualitative assessment, on a scale of 1–5.

The most expensive tender will receive the lowest score for the price criterion, while the rest will be scored relative to the most expensive tender.

The assessment of the qualitative points will be carried out according to the following classification.

For the final assessment, the supplier’s finances (tax liabilities or other possible factors that may prevent the delivery of the experiment) will also be assessed as part of the resource assessment. If the supplier’s performance is materially weakened when assessed based on the terms mentioned above, the supplier can be rejected in full. It is a requirement for tenders that the tenderer is able to submit the certificates and documentation laid down in the Act on the Contractor’s Obligations and Liability when Work is Contracted Out upon request.

Not all prizes in all competition categories (there are several prizes in each of the three categories) will necessarily be awarded (the procurement will not be carried out on the original scale) on account of insufficient proposals or other reasons related to the eligibility of the tenders.

The competition entries will be assessed by the competition jury, as well as by the project team in the preselection phase, according to the following assessment criteria:

  1. The innovativeness of the experiment 1–5
  • the novelty value and innovative qualities of the service or product
  • the experiment introduces new types of practices/solutions/insights related to a particular challenge
  • the service/product utilises data and technology that is in some way related to air quality.
  1. The scalability of the service 1–5
  • the functionality of the business model for the service
  • the potential to become a permanent solution
  • can be implemented in the city.
  1. The implementers and resources 1–5
  • the skills of the participating team, including technical skills and presentations/public performance (events and sessions related to this project)
  • the implementer’s other resources (e.g. funding, any unpaid social security contributions, cooperation with the City division or other operators and fulfilment of other requirements laid down in the Act on the Contractor’s Obligations and Liability when Work is Contracted Out)
  • the capability to advance the service after the experiments
  • more than one organisation as implementers, not a requirement.
  1. The user-orientation of the service 1–5
  • the service provides added value to the users (local residents and/or a public body)
  • Fast-Smart-User-Centric Innovation (key objective of the UIA HOPE project, read the general description of the project here)
  • the theme-specific objective is met.


In the experiment programme, the experiment will be procured as a service, without procuring materials or equipment. The experiment may include devices or other equipment. Because of this, the tenderer who proposed the experiment retains the intellectual property rights to the experiment as well as the equipment and other assets related to the experiment. 


Forum Virium Helsinki may change and cancel events and presentation sessions, as well as their organisation so that they are held through remote connections or in the form of recorded materials, due to the exceptional arrangements caused by the recent outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. These arrangements will not affect the duration of the call for tenders or the ability of the operators to ask further questions electronically. 


Contact person: Pekka Niskasaari



Photo: The City of Helsinki

Further information


Pekka Niskasaari

Mobile: +358 40 585 9110


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