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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.

The College Community has voted and this year’s Challenge will be working on solutions to make Dublin a more sustainable cities. Cities occupy just 3% of the Earth’s land but account for 60-80% of energy consumption and 75% of our carbon footprint. Sustainable city innovation can include the greening of rooftops, public transport redesign, rainwater harvesting solutions. Big or small, these initiatives all positively boost physical and environmental health.

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; last year it was all about Hacking Plastics. This year’s Provost’s Innovation Challenge focuses on Sustainable Cities, and 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?

Link for sign up will be available here for the 2021 Challenge.

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

Sustainable Cities was voted on by the College community for this year’s challenge.

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.

I have an idea for a solution that I want to work on – can I do that?

Yes. First thing to do is sign up for the Challenge. You can then submit your idea to be worked on by a team of Challengers. If your idea is selected for the hackathon, all Challengers will be given the opportunity to join your solution team and work together over the weekend. You can submit your idea 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. Once you sign up to the Challenge, you will be emailed in advance of the hackathon to sign up to work on a solution if you don't have one of your own you want to work on. Sign up here.

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

Yes – if you submit your idea for a solution and your team mates sign up to work on it. But first you must all sign up to participate as Challengers. Sign up here.

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

This section will be updated closer to the date of the next Challenge.

I still have questions?

Get in touch with us by emailing Alison at