DEEP – Microplastic Challenge 29.11.-1.12.

Plastic waste, including microplastics in oceans is one of the biggest environmental challenges we are currently facing. Microplastics are formed by wear of products, e.g. car tyres and textiles, and by fragmentation from larger plastic objects in the environment. They are also intentionally used in consumer products and industrial chemicals. New solutions, sustainable services and business concepts are needed to protect our environment and to keep our water clean.

To prevent microplastics from ending up in the Baltic sea, FanpLESStic-sea project together with Helsinki Think Company and Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) are introducing DEEP – Microplastic Challenge 29.11–1.12 2019 at Terkko Health Hub in Helsinki. DEEP is a hackathon that is focused on developing innovative solutions to prevent marine littering. DEEP calls for applications both from groups and individuals ready to create concrete solutions.



We want to bring together students, researchers, entrepreneurs and other enthusiasts to co-create solutions for preventing microplastics from entering and polluting the Baltic sea. We are looking for innovative solutions for a cleaner Baltic sea that have the potential to develop into sustainable businesses. The ideas can be anything from functional practicality to the wildest of visions.

You can apply either as an individual or as a team with a pre-existing idea. If you apply as an individual you will be paired with other like-minded participants as a multidisciplinary team when the program starts.


In the tailor-made facilitated workshops the teams will have the opportunity to develop their solutions with the help of various content matter experts as well as service design professionals and business development experts. To enable intensive creating, the teams will be provided with round-the-clock access to our working facilities.

The winners of the challenge will be granted with 1000 euros and the opportunity to further refine their idea technoeconomically with Luke’s researchers. All of the teams will gain new contacts and tools to make a real impact!


We welcome applications from the whole Baltic sea area. You can apply as an individual interested in the theme or as an team consisting of 2 to 5 people with pre-existing business idea or innovation.

The application deadline is the 19th of November at 23.59 (EET). Click the button below for the application form.

Applicants will be notified at the latest 21th of November if they have been accepted for the challenge. Excellent applicants from abroad and outside of Helsinki Metropolitan area will be notified earlier to have enough time to organise their travelling to Helsinki.


Application period starts
Application deadline
Accepted applicants are informed at the latest
FRI 29.11. (18-22)
Opening Workshop day. Challenge is presented and defining the problem begins.
SAT 30.11. (10-20)
Hacking continues and mentoring day. Finding the solutions, pitch training.
SUN 1.12. (10-14.00)
Breakfast and finalising touches
SUN 1.12. (14-17)
Further development with Luke researchers.


  1. Application period for DEEP – Microplastic Challenge starts 22 October and ends 19 November. Teams selected to join Deep will be notified by 21st of November. The hackathon weekend starts on 29th of November at 6pm and finishes 1st of December evening.
  2. As a participant, your team commits to attending the hackathon weekend on the 29th of November to 1st of December at Terkko Health Hub, Haartmaninkatu 4, Helsinki. At least 2 members of Finnish teams and 1 member of international teams need to be present for the weekend. Participation also requires independent work outside of the workshops during the weekend.
  3. The teams are selected based on 1) the potential of the idea, with a focus on preventing microplastics forming and entering the Baltic Sea 2) the team‘s competence to realize their idea and 3) the ability to commit to attending the hackathon weekend.
  4. The program’s language is English.
  5. The program is free for all participants. Participants won’t be charged any fees, given that they fill in the feedback form after the program.
  6. The ideas born and developed throughout the program are entirely owned by the teams themselves.
  7. Helsinki Think Company reserves the right to showcase the DEEP – Microplastic Challenge teams and projects in events and marketing. Photographs and video material can be shot during the program, and Think Company reserves the right to publish this material.
  8. Expert jury nominated by the organizer chooses winning team.
  9. The winning team receives a prize of 1000 euros and the opportunity to further refine their idea technoeconomically with Luke’s researches. All of the teams will gain new contacts and tools to make a real impact. Participants can obtain a certificate of attendance of the hackathon weekend if desired.