BioBoosters - Boosting the circular transition

BioBoosters is ready to start the Hackathons!

05 September 2023
Technical details

With a business-driven Hackathon process at its core, BioBoosters is connecting bioeconomy innovation ecosystems across nine regions in the Baltic Sea Region, promoting cross-sectoral knowledge transfer and international collaboration. By implementing an open innovation process in inter-regional cooperation, the project aims to facilitate knowledge exchange and collaboration between SMEs, start-ups, research groups, and large companies in an international context. Over the course of the project, 18 BioBoosters Hackathons will be organized, allowing the validation of up to 70 solutions to circular transition challenges. 

The initial six-month phase of the BioBoosters project laid the groundwork for a business-focused Hackathon model. The team developed a process model, established cooperation frameworks, and devised a joint communication plan. With these elements in place, BioBoosters is now set for the pilot phase, where partners will host Hackathons with network support. 

 “We are thrilled to witness the enthusiasm and commitment of our partners and the wider network. Many key stakeholders have asserted that this project has the potential to drive significant positive change in the bioeconomy sector, promoting sustainability and fostering international collaboration,” said Project Manager, Anna Aalto from Jamk University of Applied Sciences. 

The anticipated impact of the BioBoosters project is far-reaching, with several key outcomes expected: 

1.                       Validation of up to 70 solutions to circular transition challenges through 18 business-driven Hackathons. 

2.                       Initiation of 20 RDI (Research, Development, and Innovation) and business collaborations. 

3.                       Bringing together 500 specialists to drive the circular transition of the bioeconomy in the Baltic Sea Region. 

The BioBoosters Hackathon model builds upon the success of Jamk University of Applied Sciences’ business-driven Hackathon that has now been upgraded with an international network cooperation model. This international collaboration opens up new markets and business opportunities in the Baltic Sea region for SMEs and startups developing innovative solutions. By providing international mentoring and connections with potential customers, the Hackathon model offers SMEs and startups a broader perspective on market opportunities within the Baltic Sea region. 

“The Hackathon model developed by Jamk has already delivered impressive results for 15 companies, creating success stories that captivate everyone’s interest,” explained Anna Aalto. “We frequently encounter questions about how companies were encouraged to participate, how the cooperation continued after the Hackathon, and the sustainability impact of the solutions. These questions reflect the growing interest in the Hackathon model and its effectiveness in addressing sustainability challenges.”  

During co-creation activities of the preparation phase, Hackathon organization experiences have also been shared by other partners, including the Estonian University of Life Sciences, Sunrise Valley Science and Business Park, and Witeno. These experiences have enabled peer learning that has supported the design process and offered lessons also for the organization of the other Hackathon models. 

The BioBoosters Hackathon serves as a platform for collaboration, fostering the emergence of out-of-box solutions from a diverse group of cross-sectoral and international participants. International cooperation adds great value to the Hackathon process, particularly through the extensive network that offers diverse perspectives and areas of expertise. Leveraging the knowledge and networks of regional partners, attaining international participants is expected to be far more effective. 

What’s next? Starting in August, the BioBoosters network will publish the launch webinars for the first Hackathons. In a launch webinar, interested stakeholders and potential solution providers get to hear about the Hackathon invitation and the needs of the challenge provider company representing bioeconomy sectors. Launch webinar opens the call for applicants to join the Hackathon process. The network is ready to launch 4 calls in Autumn 2023 with challenge providers representing food system and forest bioeconomy.