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We know how important global and societal issues are to our students. At Tangent, Trinity’s Ideas Workspace, we are committed to empowering Trinity students to make a real impact on society and the world. The Provost’s Innovation Challenge @ Tangent is a social innovation programme that provides supports, creative outlets, mentorship, and the chance to have a real impact on a global problem.

Last year, the Challenge was over-use of Single Use Plastics, with Rezero, a deposit-return scheme for restaurants and eateries, winning the day. In the first year of the Provost’s Innovation Challenge, students tackled the problem of homelessness in Ireland, with Aquahomes, a social enterprise that upcycles disused rescue boats into affordable houseboats, among the teams to emerge from the Challenge.


Find out more about the Provost’s Innovation Challenge - Watch now



Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Provost’s Innovation Challenge @ Tangent entail?

It’s a hackathon, which means you’ll think creatively and critically about a global problem. You’ll brainstorm ideas, along with other passionate individuals, that could positively impact on the problem. The Provost’s Innovation Challenge @ Tangent 2019 was a hackathon around Homelessness as chosen by the College community; in 2020 it was all about Hacking Plastics. This year’s Provost’s Innovation Challenge will take place over the weekend of 20 – 22 November 2020.

You can sign up to take part in the Challenge here

Who is eligible to get involved?

The whole College community can vote on the problem – staff, students, alumni, everyone -, but we are asking teams of current Trinity students (UG and PG) to work on the solutions.

How do I sign up?

You can sign up HERE

I don’t have any ideas for solutions – is that a problem?

You have more ideas than you’d think, but don’t worry – you don’t need to know what your solution will be right now. We’ll work with you on that as the Challenge progresses.

I am part of a team already – can we work together?

The best way to ensure you can work together throughout the Provost’s Innovation Challenge is to attend the events, but you should also be open to working with other people during the Challenge – often the most successful teams have a mixture of disciplines and ways of thinking represented.

What’s the problem we’ll be working to solve?

In 2020 the College community voted for Over-reliance on Plastics.

Am I expected to solve the whole problem?

The example we always use is this: Say the problem everyone votes for is Healthcare Inefficiencies. Solutions posed could range from a better appointment booking system for hospital appointments, to an app that allows doctors to check on their patients without requiring a visit or an appointment. So the problem is big, but the solution(s) can be small (but mighty).

What's the prize?

On the final day of the hackathon, the winning team(s) will be picked by a panel of judges. (Pitch practice sessions and advice will be offered!) The winning team will receive a cash prize (Amount TBD). For any further questions, contact

I’m a Trinity alum and/or member of staff and I want to get involved.

Great! You can help mentor and guide a team by getting in touch with to volunteer.

What dates do I need to be free for to take part?

The next Provost’s Challenge will be taking place from the evening of Friday 20 November – Sunday 22 November 2020. Depending on restrictions due to COVID it is possible that this event could be run in a blended or hybrid way, with some in-person (physically distanced) sessions, and some online sessions.

I still have questions?

Get in touch with us by emailing Alison at