The EIT Alumni Challenges: a new way to solve challenges

The EIT Alumni Community launches the EIT Alumni Challenges: a series of online ideation challenges, focused on solving current societal and environmental challenges. This is the opportunity for you, EIT Alumni to connect with one another, harness your talent and work together on developing cutting-edge ideas and solutions to build long term resilience for society. 

EIT Alumni Challenge #1: Covid-19 Map & Act

The Covid-19 pandemic influences our lives, relationships and ultimately the society as a whole, in an unprecedented way. The global response to the crisis has been quick and innovative, whether it be at a national or regional level. We have seen measures that relieve our healthcare systems, sustain small and bigger businesses, and spontaneous industry. Entrepreneurs have risen to the challenge to find ways to better collaborate to produce important supplements or help the transition to online learning and working. We will feel the impact of the pandemic long after the immediate threat and restrictions are lifted. We will have to adapt to a new normal it in both our private and professional lives. Now is the time to take stock, think outside of the box and come up with new ideas that will help a resilient recovery.  

Topic of the challenge

Our first challenge, COVID-19: Map & Act, will cover all aspects of the COVID-19 crisis. Participants will map good practices and lessons learnt and come up with innovative ideas for immediate response or long-term measures.  The challenge will take place on Be-novative, a European online innovation platform. All EIT Community members as well as external participants are welcome to register and join the ideation process. 

What can European citizens and institutions do to mitigate and overcome the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on our society?

  • What are good practices in your country, region or community, that could be widely adapted? 
  • Which areas of improvements do you identify?  
  • What ideas can emerge from the EIT Alumni Community and its diverse expertise? 

Timeline of the challenge

12 May - Registration opens on Be-novative

18 May - Opening Webinar at 6pm CEST and launch of the Challenge

18 May - 01 June: Ideation (submit, evaluate, suggest, refine your ideas)

02-03 June - Completeness check of the ideas by EIT

04 -10 June - Expert review

11 June - Closing webinar and announcement of the top 5 ideas

How does it work?

Preparation Phase - Registration to the challenge and Opening Webinar

  • Create an account on the Be-novative platform to register for the challenge.
  • Receive an invitation for the Opening Webinar and access to the dedicated Slack Workspace.
  • Participate in the Opening Webinar on 18 May at 6pm CEST (Disclaimer: This session will be recorded. Participants won’t be recorded and will communicate through chat function). 
  • Join the challenge Slack group, meet other participants and receive updates on the challenge. 

Phase 1 - Ideation

  • Submit your ideas, alone or in teams. 
  • Evaluate each other's ideas and make suggestions.  
  • Refine your own ideas to make them as detailed as possible. 
  • After the community’s feedback and activity on the platform, the resulting trending ideas will be reviewed by experts.

Phase 2 - Final Selection & Closing Webinar

  • The EIT will check the top 10 to 30  trending ideas voted by the Community for completeness.
  • Experts will evaluate these top trending ideas on the following criteria: 
  1. Relevance to the challenge topic;  
  2. Readiness/maturity level and implementation feasibility (economically, technologically);  
  3. Societal Impact; 
  4. Economic Impact; 
  5. Potential of scalability.
  • Receive an invitation for the Closing Webinar.
  • Attend the closing webinar where you will discover the top 5 winning ideas. You will also learn how to engage in the EIT Community and how it helps mitigate the crisis (Disclaimer: This session will be recorded. Participants won’t be recorded and will communicate through chat function).

What's in it for you?

  • Develop innovative ideas tackling the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Work together with participants from various professional backgrounds.
  • Meet inspiring speakers dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Get feedback from a diverse community and experts from the EIT ecosystem.
  • Get the chance to see your idea appear in the top five winning ideas that will receive visibility through the EIT Community and be explored for further development.

Opening Webinar 

Inspiring speakers will bring different insights and share their experiences about the initiatives they carry out and/or support for mitigating this crisis. The Webinar will be moderated by Miguel Amador, EIT Alumni President and EIT Health Alumni President and will welcome as panelists:

Emanuele Baldacci 

Director of Digital Services at the European Commission's Directorate-General for Informatics

Mari Hanikat

CEO at Garage48 Foundation and experienced hackathon organizer. #HacktheCrisis initiative

João Figueirinhas Costa

Organizational strategist and CEO at Humaniaks and Volunteer spokesperson for tech4COVID19

Laurent Roux

Impact Officer for the Entrepreneurship and Business Creation at EIT

Programme 6-7pm CEST:

  • Presentation of the Covid-19 Challenge Map & Act
  • Experience at the European Commission with Emanuele Baldacci
  • Experience at Hack The Crisis with Mari Hanikat
  • Experience at Tech4Covid with João Figueirinhas Costa
  • Experience at EIT with Laurent Roux
  • Panel Discussion and Q&A with the participants
  • Challenge Launch, presentation of Be-novative platform and Q&A with the participants

Closing Webinar

Get ready to learn about some Covid-19 response initiatives and support programmes from some EIT Knowledge Innovation Communities, but also to discover the 5 winning ideas and their owners and the next steps they will go through for further development. The session will be moderated by EIT Alumni President and EIT Health Alumni President Miguel Amador, and will welcome as panelists:

Nestor Coronado

Business Creation Director at EIT RawMaterials

Laurent Roux

Impact Officer for the Entrepreneurship and Business Creation at EIT

Ursula Mühle

Jury panel - Former EIT Health Education Director. Helping Bavaria manage COVID-19 crisis

Ildiko Meny

Jury panel - EIT Education Support Officer - Public Health background




Programme 5:30PM - 6:30PM CEST

  • Presentation of the Covid-19 response of some of the EIT Knowledge Innovation Communities 
  • Announcement and presentation of the 5 winning ideas and their teams 
  • Feedback from the expert jury panel on the ideas submitted during the challenge
  • Feedback from the Winning teams
  • Next steps regarding the follow-up of these ideas with the Alumni volunteer teams

Disclaimer: Be-novative is processing data for the EIT. Please be aware that by registering for the EIT Alumni Challenge on the Be-novative platform you agree that the EIT will use your registration e-mail address to send important communication about the challenge, links for the opening and closing webinar and the dedicated Slack Workspace.