Tallinn University of Technology

On Friday, May 17, the third annual TalTech Sustainable Futures student project competition took place, originally launched in 2022 as the Waste Challenge. This event aligns with the EuroTeQ Collider's ongoing theme of "Enhance Connections for Sustainable Futures," which explores the intersections of People, Technology, and Nature. This initiative not only advances the goals of the EuroTeQ Collider but also embodies TalTech's mission to cultivate graduates equipped to tackle complex real-world problems with scientific rigor and an entrepreneurial mindset. Both faculty members and students are integral to achieving this objective. Twelve student teams presented solutions aimed at advancing sustainability, showcasing their innovative approaches and commitment to making a positive impact. 


The students who participated in the event tackled various challenges and problems during their studies. Working collaboratively in teams, they sought solutions that would not only address these issues but also contribute to a more sustainable future. In total, 42 students from six different courses participated: 

  • Introduction to Entrepreneurship 
  • Internet of Things 
  • Entrepreneurship and Business Planning 
  • Semester Project 
  • Problem- and Project Based Learning 
  • Social Entrepreneurship 
  • Tribology and Tribomaterials 

The jury of the event was very diverse and representative. It included: 

  • Helen Sooväli-Sepping - TalTech's Advisor for Sustainable Development and Green Transition 
  • Caroline Aruoja - Head of TalTech's Startup Centre: Technology Transfer Office 
  • Mark Toomsalu - Student of the School of Business and Governance, EuroTeQ student ambassador and Student Representative 
  • Karl-Kristo Vene - Founder and Chief Technology Officer of FlyDog Marine, TalTech Alumni Representative 
  • Kädi Ristkok – CEO of Cleantech Estonia, representative of TalTech cooperation partners 

At the event, while every participant was a winner in spirit, three teams were distinguished as the top performers and will go on to represent us at the EuroTeQaThon between EuroTeQ partner universities, held from June 8-10 at Ecole Polytechnique. The winning teams are: 

In the Nature category, Team Antscape (Marja-Liisa Soone, Ann Rehemaa, and Johan Valdemar Leoste), addressed the issue of environmental degradation in urban areas due to poor spatial planning. This degradation impacts people, animals, birds, and pollinators, thereby affecting biodiversity. The team proposed an innovative solution: an automated, biodiversity-sustaining urban landscape design service. This service adapts green areas to the actual spatial and local conditions and utilizes ecological data to support sustainable planning, ultimately fostering a greener and more resilient urban environment. 

In the Technology category, Team Bio-tribo-corrosion (Arash Kariminejad, Sibel Yöyler, Riddhi Hirenkumar Shukla, Tabeen Halawat Pampori, Shangavi Subramanian, and Mayank Kumar Yadav), focused on the challenges faced by biocompatible implants, such as hip or knee joints. These implants encounter issues with their tribological properties (friction, wear, and lubrication) and corrosion resistance. The team's solution is a simultaneous bio-tribo-corrosion testing setup, which will enable predictions on how biocompatible materials will perform in real-world situations. This setup aims to improve the materials' properties and extend their lifetime, providing benefits to both the environment and the economy. 

In the People category, Team UTER (Liis-Marie Kütt, Berna Sarraf, Ashlyn Elizabeth Finney), tackled the critical issue of Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH), a major cause of maternal mortality worldwide. They highlighted that current standard care practices and massages provided by healthcare professionals are not sufficient in preventing PPH-related deaths. Their proposed solution is an innovative massage belt equipped with sensors. This belt automatically provides fundal massage to women when needed, minimizes discomfort, and alerts healthcare workers to take timely action. 

A special award for an excellent pitch and addressing a significant issue was presented by Team EL Kanüüla (Kaari Juhanson, Hendrik Randveer, Stefani Blüm, and Heidi-Anett Väisinen). This team focused on the safety of critically ill patients who require various medications like antibiotics, painkillers, sedatives, and cardiovascular drugs. The risk of medication incompatibilities escalates when different intravenous drugs are administered through the same lumen in intravenous cannulas. Currently, Estonian hospitals manage this risk using a cumbersome, time-consuming large matrix table printed on paper. EL Kanüüla's solution is to develop an easy-to-use website for healthcare professionals that offers real-time information and ensures the prevention of drug-drug interactions in central venous catheters.

We extend our gratitude to the lecturers of the courses who joined the EuroTeQ Collider and motivated the teams to participate in this event. We wish all teams further motivation and ambition when moving forward with their innovative ideas! 

Pictures of the event can be seen here

More information: Ethel Praks (ethel.praks@taltech.ee), Karl-Erik Karu (karl-erik.karu@taltech.ee