Tuesday, 15 November 2011

"Think INK" - crowdsourcing of new ideas

Looking for ideas worth printing - 100,000 euros in Prize Money! 

The Research Foundation for Media Industry in Finland has today launched a competition open to everyone in order to source new ideas and innovations aimed at new practices, products, services, processes and business models in the printing industry.

Ideas are crowd sourced in a novel way through a campaign aimed at media and printing firms, schools and universities etc. The campaign is communicated through traditional media as well as social media networks Facebook and Twitter using hashtag #ThinkINK2012. Any spark of an idea will be considered, as long as there is some printing involved in the commercialization of the concept. This idea may be, for example a new type of advertising solution, a mobile application, a network, a new business model or a physical product.

"Today, printing is used for many purposes such as magazines, books, brochures etc. Batteries can be printed, as well as electronics and displays. Digital inkjet technology is used to print cake decorations, three-dimensional objects, or even human spare parts ", says Helene Juhola from the Research Foundation.

Ideas will be assessed according to their novelty value, the potential impact and feasibility of the business concept. The competition is open to individuals, groups, organizations and companies in Finland. Almost everyone can participate in the competition - including young people and students. The age limit is 18 years, but members of the participating group can be even younger. We truly believe that the ideas can be generated anywhere in the community. 

In Finland, we see an entrepreneurial generation rising who have an open mind and a passion to create something new. Traditionally money has been the motivation for entrepreneurial careers, however, today we are seeing a growing trend towards “social entrepreneurship”, i.e. people find joy in creating something that has value to other people. Of course, money is a relevant aspect if you are to make a living, but enthusiasm is a driving force. This comment is from Jyri Engeström, serial entrepreneur and one of the members of the jury. His comments can be viewed on YouTube in Finnish.

The media industry in general and the printing industry in particular, are going through a challenging time. The increasing digitalization of media, and the creation of an ecosystem with new technology are key drivers of the change alongside consumer behavior. Printed products have many good features and will more than likely remain as one of the efficient media channels, which attract people’s eye. However, “innovate or die” is pretty much the melody in the printing business and those companies who cannot renew their ways of thinking will have a hard time surviving in the long run. The upheaval in the media industry opens up new opportunities, and not all innovations are created by large organizations. In fact many of the best ideas may come from newcomers in the media business.

The “Think INK” competition is carried out in two phases

The first phase of the application deadline is 31 January 2012. The second stage is about selecting the best ideas for further development with support from the Research Foundation. The winner is selected in the autumn of 2012. The first prize is 100,000 Euros granted to finance the winning project towards commercialization.

The prominent members of the jury are Jyri Engeström, Ditto / Jaiku, Tarja Pääkkönen, Boardman, Peter Vesterbacka from Rovio Mobile / Angry Birds and Helene Juhola, representing the expertise of the Research Foundation. The jury is chaired by the Research Foundation chairman Timo Ketonen.

Participate in the competition, please visit the website (for now only published in Finnish) at Think INK.

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