Challenge based innovation: Translating fundamental research into societal applications

Joona Kurikka*, Tuuli Utriainen, Lauri Repokari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This paper is based on work done at IdeaSquare, a new innovation experiment at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. The paper explores the translation of fundamental research into societal applications with the help of multidisciplinary student teams, project- and problem-based learning and design thinking methods. The theme is approached through challenge based innovation (CBI), a pilot course coordinated by IdeaSquare in 2013-2014 in collaboration with three universities. The approach, including a visit to CERN, appears to motivate the participating students to really strong, self-directed learning and can produce new, innovative concepts for societal applications with an inspirational connection to CERN. As a result of their iterative development, the student teams created two concepts: EDUMIND to help autistic kids to communicate through augmented reality technology, and CMPRSSD to use advanced data processing to record and compress project meetings. Both of the projects were also developed further by their stakeholders after the course.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-297
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Learning and Change
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Applied technology
  • CERN
  • Design thinking
  • Fundamental research
  • Innovation
  • Product development
  • Project-based learning
  • Social innovation


Dive into the research topics of 'Challenge based innovation: Translating fundamental research into societal applications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this