Innovation Challenges are one of several à la carte services open to THINGS Enterprise Circle (TEC) partners. It is a bespoke open competition to THINGS extended startup community of ca. 500 Swedish startups and beyond to solve a corporate lead challenge or problem. 

Format/ Details
An in-depth, multi stage process where startups are invited via an open competition and shortlisted to 4-6 to define and develop a solution over x weeks. Followed by a presentation event, jury meeting and winner announcement.

Dependent on your specific requirements, contact us for a tailor-made solution and quotation.


Digital transformation is a challenge for all corporates. Awareness, preparation, action and evaluation are critical in order to react faster and remain competitive in this changing landscape.

FLIR recognized the value of THINGS Enterprise Circle initiative in assisting with their internal digital transformation efforts and joined THINGS as a TEC partner in early 2018: becoming part of our B2B and industry focused innovation hub.


THINGS initiated and developed a successful innovation challenge framework in collaboration with our main partner NCC in 2017. An open competition, selection and jury process lead to 12 competition entries. IMRSV was named winner and embarked on a joint proof of concept together with NCC. Read more about NCC’s 2017 Innovation Challenge here:


How did the initial discussions about Innovation Challenge start with FLIR?

Interest around NCC’s Innovation Challenge grew amongst THINGS Enterprise Circle corporate partners and after some initial discussions FLIR embarked on a partnership together with THINGS to create a bespoke Innovation Challenge, which culminated in the FLIR 2019 Innovation Challenge:

What was the process?

THINGS participated in the entire process as outlined below, providing advice, insight, guidance and practical assistance to ensure a smooth selection process and a clear mandate to really push a winning idea through to implementation.

  • Identify current business solutions and/ or products.
  • Discuss & define a specific corporate problem. Scope in/ out conditions.
  • Identify and nominate an internal champion: build internal support for startup collaboration and pilot co-development.
  • Allocate a reasonable/ feasible pilot budget. Ca. 250,000sek. 
  • Lock down appropriate challenge rules (inc. ip and legal).
  • Outline evaluation criteria.
  • Elect jury members (THINGS included in panel).
  • Set Innovation Challenge process and timeline (guide: 3 months, to include):
    • Launch date
    • Briefing webinar
    • Submission deadline
    • Shortlisted candidates
    • *Kick off
      • *As part of FLIR’s bespoke Innovation Challenge set-up, FLIR wanted to find new applications using their HW product range, so an extra day was included as part of the framework where contestants could come to get an introduction to FLIR and their products in order to spark further ideas and get even better application ideas.
    • Demo day for shortlisted applicants.
    • Winner announcement
  • Create an Innovation Challenge website.

How did THINGS assist in the process?

  • A bespoke innovation challenge via hands-on advice and guidance at every stage of the process.
  • Dedicated senior THINGS Innovation Challenge representative (Linda Krondahl, THINGS CEO & Co-founder/ Magnus Melander THINGS Co-founder).
  • Participation in the entire selection process and part of jury panel.
  • Coordinated marcoms support throughout, including call for entries across THINGS 500+ Swedish startups extended network.
  • Access to THINGS premises, including 100 people capacity event space and meeting rooms (catered to specific requirement and subject to availability).
  • Leverage THINGS knowledge, expertise and network in industrial tech and B2B arena.

What was the outcome?

  • *4 runner-ups: Ekkono, Imagimob, Gimic and Gemit
    • *FLIR received so many high caliber application submissions that a runner-up category was created and 4 companies shortlisted for continued collaboration with FLIR. Already 2 projects started with runner-ups at the time of going to press.

What was FLIR’s experience?

How the result would have been if FLIR did this independently compared to the result achieved in partnership with THINGS?
“THINGS has the experience and expertise from other corporates which was really helpful. Linda knows the pitfalls, what to avoid etc. Most important is THINGS network and credibility within the IoT, AI, Machine Learning Start-Up community.”

What has been your experience of working with THINGS?
“Very professional and easy.”

What was the quality of applications like?
“Suprisingly high share with very high quality where the start-up companies really had understood the situations FLIR and our customers are in.”

Were there any stumbling blocks/ what learnings have been made?
“Make sure to include legal at an early stage to get all legal documentation in place for e.g. IP writings.”

Are you pleased with the outcome?
“More than pleased! Worth noticing is that this has really been noticed within FLIR and the value of more open innovation with partners is much better understood. I believe this is just the beginning of FLIR’s journey in this space.”


FLIR envisions a world in which our world-leading thermal imaging and sensing technology will be used in combination with technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), and machine learning (ML) to help users make the best possible decisions and in some cases become even better at saving lives and livelihoods.  We’re interested in finding new and innovative ways to apply those combined technologies in four specific applications and we want to team up with startup companies in the Stockholm area to foster ideas and help some of them get developed. In this challenge, a handful of ideas will be selected to compete and one of those projects will receive pilot funding from FLIR to help accelerate making the idea a reality!

What’s in it for you?
All of the ideas chosen to compete in the challenge will get access to FLIR hardware and software and receive technical support from FLIR and to develop their idea, and they will have the opportunity to present it directly to a FLIR jury in February 2019.

The challenge winner will work with FLIR in a joint Proof of Concept with a pilot budget of up to SEK 250,000, and if we find a strong case and opportunity for the solution we may choose to develop, scale and take it to market together with them.  

What’s in it for FLIR?
FLIR will build relationships with innovative startups and ecosystem players and discover new ways of using their IR-based technology in existing and new applications, where they can provide useful tools to users in a number of different settings. 

FLIR products (thermal cameras, test and measurement equipment, SDKs, apps, cloud software, etc.) are increasingly becoming connected in an ecosystem, enabling valuable thermal information and data to be available at any time, from any device, supporting the user in his or her decisions.  With the creation and delivery of solutions using technologies like AI, AU, and ML with FLIR products, FLIR and their ecosystem move closer to delivering complete solutions that give users actionable results and decision support in critical situations.  Rather than just offering standalone thermal imaging hardware and software giving information about the temperature variations and the absolute temperature in different spots and then relying on the user’s knowledge and capability to interpret the data from the thermal camera, FLIR’s future products and solutions will better support the user in his or her work and help pinpoint critical information that needs immediate attention or further analysis. 

Target applications for the Challenge
Below are four customer scenarios describing current applications for thermal imaging and how we see the situation changing for those users in the future. These are the specific applications we’re targeting for the Challenge.  On our web-site there are additional application stories and other information about our products that demonstrate how our products are used today within fire-fighting, manufacturing industries, inspection of solar panels and other utility applications, and DIY applications.

The connected industry
The connected first responder
DIY home repairs and energy efficiency improvements
The Digital Utility