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Innovation competition for better services in Joensuu

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A total of 200,000 euros will be awarded to winners of the Joensuu City Challenge 2018 competition for pilot projects in the city. The aim is to find new, innovative solutions to improve the city and public services.

The competition aims to offer Joensuu residents new and better services by means of innovative solutions.  

–  SMEs in particular will benefit from the pilot projects, which provide the framework for testing new services in an urban environment. Above all, new kinds of implementation are being sought, said development manager Sami Ruotsalainen.

The competition is divided into four categories. The first challenge involves proposals for city services and new forms of learning or working for city staff. The second challenge is to implement solutions in the city centre using data collected with the aid of sensor technology and making this data available as open data. Ruotsalainen names an example:

–  An ice-cream parlour on two wheels can spot lucrative sales locations on the basis of visitor number monitoring data provided by sensors in public premises.

The challenge for river and lake tourism in the city centre is to develop new activities along the river Pielisjoki to harness the river's unexploited potential for tourism and recreation.  The fourth challenge involves the Laulurinne open-air arena. The area is undergoing a general planning review, with a focus on green energy solutions.

The municipality is participating in the implementation of the plans and carries a part of the financial responsibility. Similar competitions are already taking place in the business world. In the case of Joensuu, the novelty is that a city is serving as a breeding ground for innovation.

One in five procurements of the city of Joensuu is innovative, and all large procurements must include innovative solutions. The competition ends on 18.3. and the winners will be announced in April. The pilot projects will be carried out by May 2019 at the latest.

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