Skip to content

NEMO builds empathy and natural interaction on the Internet – Teosto is part of the winning project at Helsinki Challenge


The winners of the science-based Helsinki Challenge competition were selected on Friday 13 November. Teosto participated in the NEMO – Natural Emotionality in Digital Interaction team which won the competition.

The award sum of 375,000 euros was divided among two teams: The NEMO project that placed first received 250,000 euros, and the Biodiversity Now that came second 125,000 euros. The aim of the prize is to help the teams realise their ideas.    

The leader of the winning NEMO team is researcher Katri Saarikivi from the University of Helsinki. Team members from Teosto are Ano Sirppiniemi and Turo Pekari, and other team members are Vesa Putkinen, Tommi Makkonen, Mari Tervaniemi, Valtteri Wikström, Arto Markku, Johan Sundström, Wesa Aapro, Kaisa Järnefelt, Kosti Rytkönen and Silja Martikainen.

Emotions in a digital setting

NEMO develops new ways of digitalising emotions and transmitting them online. The team visualises emotion-driven add-ons to digital interaction platforms and wants to create an open source code which anyone can use to develop new applications that enable empathy in a digital setting.

The international panel of the Helsinki Challenge competition describe NEMO’s idea as original, creative and solution-focused.  

– Digital transmission of emotions and collecting big data from emotions are a fully new and fascinating field of research, and Teosto wants to be involved in its future, Ano Sirppiniemi, Research Manager at Teosto says.

– Music is an important channel for transmitting emotions, and music could have a major role in the applications that support empathy which the project will develop, says Turo Pekari, Senior Advisor, innovation and discovery at Teosto.

Year-long science-based idea competition

The Helsinki Challenge competition was launched in 2014. In October 2014, 144 teams signed up for the competition, and the judges selected 20 of these as semifinalists in December. The multidisciplinary teams looked for solutions to major global challenges, developing them in cooperation with business life, the media, decision-makers and a large number of experts from both Finland and abroad. The competition marked the celebration of the university’s 375th anniversary.

Members of the finals panel were Thomas Wilhelmsson, Chancellor of the University of Helsinki (Chairman), Sally Mapstone, Pro-Vice-Chancellor at the University of Oxford, Pasi Sahlberg, Professor at Harvard University, Ulrich Weinberg, Director of the Hasso-Plattner Institute School of Design Thinking and Mikko Kosonen, President of the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra.

Share on social media
Change cookie settings

A cookie is a small text file that is stored on your computer or other device and records information about your visit to the Website. Teosto uses cookies to improve the usability of its services.

Information collected by cookies is not usually connected with the personal data of an identified person, but some information collected by cookies may be indirectly connected with the personal data of an identified person.

Learn more by reading our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy

Cookie categories
Strictly necessary cookies

These cookies are strictly necessary to ensure the availability of our website. They do things such as load some of our website’s functions in advance to make the website load faster. Strictly necessary cookies are also used to determine and remember your settings. You can disable strictly necessary cookies in your browser settings, but please note that all of the website’s functions and parts may not work properly after that.
More information about cookies

Analytics cookies

We use analytics cookies to improve the functioning of our website. Analytics cookies collect information about things such as how visitors use our website and how they navigate from one page to another. The information is used in anonymous form.
More information: Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy

Functionality cookies

Functionality cookies allow us to offer various functions, such as playlists and a live chat service, on our website. If you disable functionality cookies, some or all of these functions may not work properly. More information about cookies

Marketing cookies

Marketing cookies help us tailor marketing and offer the users of our website more personalised services in the future. We use marketing cookies to collect information about the user’s behaviour and preferences on our website.
More information about cookies