City of Turku and Bayer hold unique science competition for all upper secondary students in Finland

  • The Beyond 2030 Challenge science competition encourages all students in upper secondary and vocational education in Finland to take a plunge into the world of science and technology.
  • Inspired by a successful first year, the contest is expanding from Southwestern Finland to upper secondary, and vocational school students all over the country.
  • The contest encourages young people to discover the innumerable career and study opportunities that exist in the fields of technology and sciences, and to increase cooperation of the different actors with institutions of higher education and corporations.

The science and technology industries are of very great significance for business and industry for Turku as well as for all of Finland, and the role is constantly increasing. Experts are needed to keep the fields viable now and in the future. The Beyond 2030 Challenge science competition emphasises the significance of cooperation while encouraging young people to become future experts in the fields. This year the competition aims at becoming the largest science competition in Finland. The competition is unique, as the science competition is co-organized by the public and private sectors for the first time in Finland.  

– Last year’s competition showed that there is demand for competitions in science, and that it is a great way to expand cooperation among business, higher education, and the city. The science competition and university mentors inspired young people to open-mindedly solve challenges. I hope that this year’s competition will inspire more people to participate in cooperation and encourage young people to come up with great ideas for the competition,  says Minna Arve from the City of Turku.

– I am very pleased with the positive reception of last year’s competition. It inspired so many talented young people from Southwestern Finland to innovate for a more sustainable tomorrow. We hope that there are even more students out there being enthusiastic about science and technology.  For that reason, we want to expand the competition to the whole of Finland now. Developing your own talents and experts from early on is important for Finland’s competitiveness and to help overcome the challenges the world is facing. At Bayer, we strongly believe that science is the key to a more sustainable future, says Miriam Holstein, CEO of Bayer Nordic Region.

Students in the competition work on research projects of their own choosing to find creative solutions that would make Finland a more sustainable living environment. The range of topics was vast already last year. The winning entry out of 41 entries was by Niklas Ahde, Eetu Haatainen, and Elmeri Juutti of Turun Suomalaisen Yhteiskoulun lukio (TSYK). They developed a mobile app which helps city-dwellers avoid harmful noise in their everyday lives.

– Cooperation with big entities such as the City of Turku, Bayer, and the University was a great experience. The experience of planning a broader project differed sharply from what we usually get to do in upper secondary school. Meanwhile, the contest was a great promoter of group spirit, says Eetu Haatainen, commenting on the science competition.

The competition, which will now be launched nationwide, is a joint initiative of the City of Turku and Bayer. Turku has been a natural springboard to the competition, as it is a concentration of science and technology where solutions for the future are developed in strong multi-disciplinary cooperation in fields including medicine, artificial intelligence, autonomous maritime operations, electric transportation, and circular economy. Turku is Finland’s strongest concentration of the pharmaceutical and diagnostics industry and is significant in the field also on an international level. Half of Finnish companies in the field are located in Turku, where 21 of all 22 medicines developed in Finland were developed. Turku is also responding to future needs through input into growing fields, such as electric transport, cleantech, and the bio, and circular economies.

The core competencies of the international Bayer Group are in the field of Life Science in healthcare and nutrition. Bayer creates added value through innovation and invests in growth and better productivity, based on a focus on scientific research. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to acting in a socially and ethically responsible manner.

Bayer’s international operations in Finland focus on prescription drugs: research and development, production and export of drugs manufactured in Finland to more than 130 countries. Several Bayer’s international clinical trials are also conducted in Finland. Bayer’s Nordic regional organization is headquartered in Espoo. Bayer employs more than 1,000 people in Finland.

Further information on the science competition

Further information on the science competition can be found at . The application period continues through 15 October 2021. The 25 best ideas from among all who signed up will be selected for the first phase of the project stretching from early November through mid-December. Students from institutions of higher education in Turku will spar with groups that have reached the project phase. In December a panel of judges will select the top ten projects for a semifinal to be held in January, in which the five best projects will move on to the second project phase of the competition. The competition culminates in a final event to be held in April 2022 where the best entries in the competition will present their projects, and the top three teams will be rewarded with cash prizes: €4,000 for the winning team, €2,000 for the second place and €1,000 for the third place.