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Dean's Open Innovation Challenge

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Dean's Open Innovation Challenge | 2024

💡Join the first edition of Dean’s Open Innovation Challenge and become a driver of purposeful innovation!

Be a part of a competition that empowers you to turn ideas into real-world initiatives.

Dean's Open Innovation Challenge' 24

Taking on a critical global issue: The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2024 just ranked societal polarization as 1 of the top 3 risks for the next two years. At NOVA IMS, we’re ahead of the curve. Our Dean’s Open Innovation Challenge, focusing on ‘Time to Reconnect,’ seeks to leverage data to tackle the pressing concern of radicalization. Learn more about the challenge here.

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What is Dean's Open Innovation Challenge?

  • The Dean’s Open Innovation Challenge is an annual competition in which participants create solutions that drive meaningful change in society.
  • Each year, NOVA IMS’s Dean, unveils a theme, inviting all NOVA IMS community to collaborate and develop impactful solutions.
  • This year’s theme, "Time to reconnect", challenges us to explore innovative solutions that use technology and data to bring people together, promoting dialog, collaboration, and empathy in society. 

Who Can Participate?

  • Dean’s Open Innovation Challenge is exclusively for students, staff, professors, alumni, and partners of NOVA IMS or AD NOVA IMS.
  • Having an initial idea is not a requirement for participation. The Dean’s Open Innovation Challenge encourages collaboration, and ideas can naturally develop within the team.

How it Works

Participants form multidisciplinary teams to address the challenge theme using innovative solutions. Explore each phase of the competition below and how you can get started.

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    Unveiling the Theme

    • Every year, a new theme is introduced to inspire creative ideas;

    • Teams have to come up with solutions that match the year's theme;

    • Click here to view the competition rules.

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    • Participation in the competition is free of charge;

    • You can register individually or in teams (3 to 7 members);

    • You don't need to have an initial idea to enter the competition;

    • Register here to secure your place now.

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    Team officialisation

    • Teams are made up of 3 to 7 members;

    • If you've registered individually, we'll assign you to a team;

    • Whenever possible, teams should be multidisciplinary;

    • All participants will be informed of the members of their team once the registration period has closed.

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    Kick-Off Session

    • The Kick-Off session marks the official launch of the competition, with a special welcome from our Dean;

    • In a relaxed session, the organisers provide the teams with the rules, guidelines and important information about the Competition.

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    Concept development

    • The concept development consists of a phase of ideation and concept exploration;
    • Teams will collaborate for 3 months to develop a project solution;

    • NOVA Innovation and Analytics Lab will offer 3 workshops to guide the teams through the project development process, using the Design Thinking methodology;

    • Teams will receive a set of tools and materials to guide them through the solution development process;

    • Each team will have a mentor they can call on to clarify any doubts.

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    Pitch & Win

    On PitchDay, all teams present their final solutions to the Jury;


    The Jury will select and announce the 3 best projects that will go through to the final stage of the competition;


    The 3 finalist teams will make their final pitch to the panel of judges at the Data with Purpose Summit, followed by the awards ceremony;


    The prizes will enable the acceleration and prototyping of the 3 winning projects;



    1st Prize: €1,000 (per team member) + 3 Mentoring Sessions at NOVA Analytics Labs (per team)

    2nd Prize: 750 € (per team member) + 3 Mentoring Sessions at NOVA Analytics Labs (per team)

    3rd Prize: €500 (per team member) + 3 Mentoring Sessions at NOVA Analytics Labs (per team)

Why Participate?

🤝Collaboration: Work alongside a diverse team, bringing together a wide range of skills, perspectives, and experiences;

🧠 Learning: Develop valuable skills, gain hands-on experience, and learn from experts in the field;

🌐 Networking: Connect with innovator minds within our community, opening doors to potential future collaborations;

🚀 Accelerate ideas: Winners have the opportunity to accelerate and prototype their idea.

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Do you have any questions or need more information? We're here to help!