In total 130 innovators met to develop their ideas into a winning proposition in the Nordic Independent Living Challenge in Copenhagen 4 and 5 May. During the two-day matchmaking event the participants also had the opportunity to present questions to representatives from all the five Nordic capitals and fine-tune their ideas within thematic workshops.
Although the participant groups were a heterogeneous one, including students, startups, health care professionals and established companies, participants seemed to enjoy the two days. “It has been a great event. It is nice to have the city representatives here, and I have had good talks with several of the end users”, said Nicolai S. Laugesen who works at large Danish company Falck.
Challenging the Nordic Capitals
The competition’s steering group chairperson and Division Director of the City of Helsinki’s Department of Social Services and Health Care opened the matchmaking event with inspiring words: “You need to challenge us in how we give services, because everything can be turned upside down”, was Juha Jolkkonen’s clear message on the first day of the matchmaking event.
Working together and understanding the user needs
Working together, also on a Nordic level, could turn profitable. “The Nordic countries as one home market is an element that I think we should use more when cooperating with businesses and developing ideas”, said Mr. Dagur B. Eggertsson, the Mayor in the City of Reykjavik.
Dennis C. Søndergaard from the Nordic Centre for Welfare and Social Issues agreed. “We have different strengths in the Nordic countries, and combining that with similar economic and demographical challenges means there is a significant market potential in the Nordic region”, Søndergaard concluded.
25 will proceed in the competition
The matchmaking event in Copenhagen was a part of the second stage of the Nordic Independent Living Challenge. The 130 participants were part of 75 teams selected by an independent Nordic jury to further compete for the main prize, after more than 400 ideas had been submitted in the initial stage. From Finland, there were 16 proposals invited for the second stage of the competition.
In the beginning of June, the jury will pick 25 of the 75 teams represented at the matchmaking event to progress in the competition. During the third stage of challenge competition participants will receive mentoring and support to develop their concepts further, including business plans and preparation for testing on real users.
View the list over the ideas the jury sent through to stage two:
The Nordic capitals, Stockholm, Oslo, Reykjavik, Helsinki and Copenhagen, have launched the Nordic Independent Living Challenge together with Nordic Innovation to stimulate the development of new solutions that can make it possible for elderly and people with disabilities to live independently in their own home. Another aim of the competition is to make the everyday life easier and more efficient for care professionals.