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1. Why an Innovation prize?

The 52°North R&D network strongly focuses on innovations in the field of Geoinformatics, i.e. on understanding and leveraging the value of new technologies for solving real world problems. With the innovation prize we want to support creative minds in turning his/her innovative idea into practical and marketable solutions.

2. What do you mean by innovation?

An “Innovation” is something new, e.g. a new method, a new technology, a new application, which we practically use to solve a problem in a better way than has been previously possible. This means, a novel idea becomes an innovation if it meets societal demands and unfolds its use in practice.

3. Who can apply?

Individual students, student entrepreneurs or student research teams can apply. Each applicant must be enrolled as a BSc, an MSc or a Diploma student. You may NOT own a degree in either Geoinformatics, Informatics or a related “informatics” field (e.g. Bio-Informatics, Business-Informatics, ...). In case you are not sure whether you situation complies with our rules, please contact us for clarification.

4. If I have turned in my thesis and finished all my exams, am I still able to apply?

If you have not received and will not receive your “diploma” during the duration of the competition (November 15, 2012), you are eligible to apply.

5. What is 52N looking for?

We are looking for a clear and concise description of an innovation, which may still be in the state of an idea or already an ongoing development. Your paper must emphasize the innovative quality of the idea/concept and convincingly describe its feasibility, practical use and market relevance. It must also convincingly and clearly describe how it could be implemented, i.e. brought to market.

This year’s focus is on innovations in the field of Geoinformatics in one or more of the following emerging technologies and for particular societal trends or needs:

  • Web of things
  • Crowd-sourced spatial information
  • E-participation
  • Linked open data
  • Social media integration/application
  • Augmented reality.

6. How long should the proposal be?

The proposal should be 2000 - 3500 words long and written in English.

7. What must be included in the proposal?

We expect a description of:

  • the idea/concept,
  • its market relevance,
  • its technical approach & feasibility,
  • its status quo and road map for implementing the idea and bringing it to the market
  • the plan for investing the prize money.

The following criteria apply:

  • clearness of the idea/concept
  • its innovative quality,
  • its market relevance,
  • its practical feasibility.

8. Does the innovation need to include an implementation?

We’re looking for students, who are highly interested in turning a promising idea into a practical solution. We’re not just awarding ideas, but we’re motivating, supporting and awarding their implementation too.
In most cases the implementation requires some software development. But this is not a particular demand of the innovation price.

9. Are there conditions attached to the 5000,- EUR?

Yes, the money is to be used to implement the idea/concept. That is why you must submit an investment plan. Depending on the implementation status – the money shall be used to create a proof of concept, prototype, or for bringing the idea/SW to market. The 52°North partner Network will support you in your endeavors. This could mean coaching for software implementation, to help adjust the market focus or increase the visibility.

Student Innovation Prize


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