Deadline: Nov 04, 2017 10:00 PM
Co-development camp: Nov 21 - Nov 23, 2017
Jämsänkoski, Finland
1500 € or a max 20 000 € pilot project
Applications for this challenge have closed. See our upcoming challenges here.

Flexible Energy with UPM Energy

Congratulations to the 6 teams joining us in Flexible Energy!

  • AR ants (Stereoscape)
  • Brainpower
  • Futuriot
  • Extreme
  • Nortal
  • Proximity (Digitalist Group & IBM)

The Challenge

Renewable energy production is growing fast and changing the fundamental set-up of the electricity market. Traditional electricity production can be steered according to the need. However, renewable electricity is produced when there are sunshine and wind and this is causing new challenges to the whole electricity system. To be able to transfer to the sustainable energy system, more flexibility in consumption is required. At the same time that renewables are increasing, the traditional fossil fuel based capacity is being shut down. This increases the need for flexibility even more. In order to respond to this, the energy intensive industry must be more flexible. This means that industrial processes should be responsive to the signals from the different energy markets – increase consumption when the price is low and decrease consumption when the price is high.

UPM Energy owns electricity production and services the energy needs of UPM’s production sites. UPM Energy has developed a service for internal customers involving their industrial processes so that their energy demand is flexible and aligned with the signals from the energy markets. Our strengths are in optimising the production processes according to energy markets, but we need help in designing digital user experiences for factory staff, and in increasing the level of production data analysis. We believe these are essential drivers for the flexibility we aim to enable.

We are now looking for innovative companies to help us with two main challenges:

1. Improving daily operations by engaging, digital experiences. Production and market data is crucial for enabling the flexibility we aim for. But in many ways it’s still us humans who are working on the factory floor, together for a common goal, often dispersed into different geographical locations. Therefore, that data needs to be made as visual, actionable and engaging as possible. Can you help us create better user interfaces, user experience, and perhaps use gamification, of the data to help motivate employees and drive better operations of the factory? To be able to design their solution in a user-centered way, teams will have a chance to meet factory staff and get their feedback during the event in Jämsänkoski.

2. Analyzing industrial processes by data exploration tools. We are eager to develop a tool for analyzing industrial process data and recognizing particular types of events in that data to generate further insights. The tool should adapt into a situation where inputs and other key attributes of the calculation can vary within predefined frames. And it should be scalable and modular in a way that user can analyze relatively large amounts of data and add new processes when needed. Can you implement this kind of tool and analysis? To get started with solving this challenge, the selected teams will get access to a data set prepared for this purpose. More detailed description of the challenges and the goals behind them will be disclosed to the selected teams.

About UPM Energy

UPM Energy is the second largest electricity producer in Finland. It generates low-emission electricity in its own and co-owned power plants and in addition, it is also an expert of industrial energy. UPM Energy provides industrial electricity consumption and flexibility services to industrial consumers and other energy companies. Deep understanding of industrial consumption as well as efficient, low-emission electricity generation, offer the company a unique position in the marketplace. UPM Energy is a part of the UPM-Kymmene group.

Available Resources

To help the development of proof-of-concepts during the challenge, we have reserved some key people and resources to support your work.

Mentors, experts and factory staff

Each team will be assigned with their own mentor from UPM Energy. There will also be other industry and service experts and factory staff from UPM to help teams with their work.

Data and software

Data from factory and current systems will be made available for the teams. There is also plenty of open data available about the electricity market from Fingrid.

Additional tools and tech

Samsung consumer electronics such as VR gear, smartphones and tablets. IBM Bluemix and Watson platforms for software development are available.


Applications close – November 3rd

Applicants informed about the selections – November 8th

Webinar to kickoff the team’s work – November 1oth 14:00-15:00

Mentor meeting/call(s) as agreed between the team and their mentor

Co-development event (a 2,5-day event, hackathon) including a visit to Jämsänkoski paper mill – November 21st afternoon – November 23rd evening

Pilot proposal submission deadline (from best teams chosen by jury) – December 1st

Pilot phase – December – February

The Jury

  • Mikko Vuori – Director, Energy Finland and investments, UPM Paper Europe & North America Oy
  • Jukka-Pekka Häkli – Energy Service Project Lead, UPM Energy Oy
  • Anne Särkilahti – Director, Business Services and Initiatives, UPM Energy Oy
  • Esa Laurinsilta – Director, Strategic partnerships/Technology function, UPM-Kymmene Oyj


Apply with a team of 2-3 people. All applications will be reviewed after the deadline and all applicants will be informed one week after the deadline. Groups that submit early have a small advantage because we have more time to read their applications. 6-8 teams will be selected to join the challenge.

Who will own my idea?

Ideas are free for everyone to use but the IPR for any software codebase or documents produced during the competition will stay with the team. The host has the first right of refusal to negotiate further collaboration with the team to purchase or continue working on the project initiated during the challenge.

Applications for this challenge have closed. See our upcoming challenges here.