Host Introduction

Ponsse is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of forest machines for the cut-to-length method. The company’s shares are quoted on the NASDAQ OMX, but it’s a family company whose roots are deep in the Finnish countryside.

Through the Innovation Lab, Ponsse and its subsidiary Epec are looking for new partner companies with expertise and experience in fields that can help in better serving the customer and the operator of the machinery, whether it comes to the design, production or after-sales services of the products.

The Background

Forest machine is the main – and often the only – companion for the operator during their working hours. This makes uncompromised usability a top priority for Ponsse as they are looking to serve their customers even better when renewing the machine control system (human-machine interface). The upcoming renewal makes it possible to introduce new technologies and design principles in the forest machine cabin.

The Challenge

In the Next Level Operator Environment challenge Ponsse wants to explore comprehensive solutions for the cabin working environment and world-class ergonomics, including the overall control of machine functions. External development partners are searched for to help recognize technologies and solutions that could be a part of the future control system or human-machine interface of a forest machine. There’s probably a multitude of solutions successfully implemented and validated in other industries (e.g. cars, trucks, tractors) addressing the same usability issues. Such existing technologies, especially field-proven and off-the-shelf, could be more reliable and fast to implement than starting from scratch. Could they be applicable in a forest machine and for which purpose? The key requirement for any potential solution is to serve the everyday life of the operator, while taking into account cost efficiency, robustness, availability and manufacturability. 

Some examples of potential technologies of interest:

  • Touch screen used to adjust and control functions and to present information.
  • Mobile device integration to the system (messaging, phone calls, audio streaming …)
  • Integration to subsystems (air conditioning, FM radio, driver detection and automatic login …)
  • Active noise cancellation technology
  • Display technologies (HUD, wearable, …) 
  • Wearable technologies
  • Voice control

Interesting solver partners combine expertise from design and technology and are able to apply approaches validated outside the forest machine industry.

Available resources

To help the teams during the challenge, the host has reserved some key people (mentors) and resources to support your work. There will be Host’s experts on operator training and embedded software available for sparring. Usability research insights will also be made available for the teams.


  • Applications close – November 15th 2021, 16:00 (EEST)
  • Applicants informed about the selections – by November 18th
  • Briefing session (live in Tampere, mandatory) – December 8th, 10:00-14:00
  • Co-creation Sessions with Ponsse mentors (all online, mandatory) – 1,5 hour sessions on weeks 2-3/2022 (10.-21.1., team-specific scheduling TBD)
  • Final presentations (live in Tampere, mandatory) – January 21st, 12:30-16:00
  • Proof-of-concept phase kickoff (mandatory for best teams chosen by jury) –  TBD

Who can apply

Apply with a team of 2-3 people, ideally combining diverse skills and backgrounds in the team. The team must represent a company or other such entity that can drive the design and implementation of their solution during and after the Challenge. All applications will be reviewed and all applicants will be informed after the deadline. 6-8 teams will be selected to join the challenge. You may only apply by submitting the Industryhack web form.

Expected commitment for selected teams

During the challenge, the teams will develop and conceptualise their suggested solutions together with Host’s mentors. The teams are expected, in minimum, to work on the challenge during the co-creation phase by investing an estimated 3 days of their time per team member. The aim of the contest is to find one or two relevant concepts that can be validated in the proof-of-concept phase. The team that is chosen to the proof-of-concept project will be paid the agreed budget to deliver the project.

The challenge will be organised under Industryhack Terms of Participation v20210112. The poc project’s agreement will be made with Industryhack’s poc agreement template, in accordance with the spirit of the terms mentioned above. The template will be shared with the winning team(s).


Team selection criteria

Applications will be evaluated based on team composition, initial approach and contribution to the combination of selected teams. The following criteria will be used to identify 6-8 teams with best potential to succeed in co-creating and proposing an interesting solution.

  • Depth and variety of skills and experience relevant to the challenge
  • Team’s motivation and ability to work together
  • Team’s motivation and ability to partner with the host
  • The relevance and maturity of the team’s preliminary ideas, solution or approach
  • Correct understanding of the challenge
  • Participating teams will be chosen so that the approaches and team compositions complement each other and represent a variety of viewpoints to the challenge


Each team that is selected to the co-creation days will be paid a reward of 1500 eur for taking part in the challenge. Rewards are paid against invoice after the team has presented their solution at the end of co-creation days and provided their materials and feedback after the challenge. After the co-creation, the best team(s) chosen by the jury are expected to work on their proof-of-concept (POC) project, building and testing the POC together with the host. The project will have a budget of 10-30 000 euros paid by the host. More detailed scope and cost of the project are designed during the challenge and in the POC project’s kickoff.

In case you have any questions, feel free to contact Anna Korpela (