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Tsinghua Innovation Contest and Tsinghua Great Idea Challenge spark creativity


The finals of the 11th Tsinghua University Innovation Contest and 2022 Tsinghua University Creative Challenge (for freshman) were held at the Tsinghua School of Economics and Management on October 17. From its core position of "looking for ideas to advance social development," the competition seeks out great ideas which can create value and bring solutions for sustainable development to human society. After more than four hours of competition, the "Cool, easy-to-park, changeable, locking, foldable handlebars" team won the championship of the challenge.


Golden Award team winner

The jury included HAN Wentao, deputy secretary of the CCYL Tsinghua University Committee; HAO Xiuqing, deputy director of Tsinghua x-lab; XIA Li, director of Team Cultivation at Tsinghua x-lab; ZHAO Jingshan, associate professor of Mechanical Engineering at Tsinghua University; RAO Rong, associate professor in the School of Architecture at Tsinghua University; XING Yuxiang, researcher in the Engineering Physics Department at Tsinghua University; ZHUO Jiankun, associate researcher in the Energy and Power Engineering Department at Tsinghua University; LI Chang, president of the student association of science and technology; CHEN Yanting, president of the Maker Association at Tsinghua University; GUO Wei, director of Beijing Zhongguancun Zhiku Inno-Entre Talent Service Corporation; TANG Ke, investment director of TusStar Beijing Investment Management; GUO Yijun, vice president of Bona Global; TAO Feng, an expert in innovation and entrepreneurship education; and ZHAO Lingyun, director of Innovation Incubation Department at Tongfang Science Park.

Journey of Innovation

The opening speech was addressed by LI Chang, president of the student association of science and technology. He said this competition was the first school-level science and innovation competition for freshmen. The purpose is to discover, cultivate and improve freshmen's innovative mindsets, break the academic limitations of Tsinghua students, and expand students' creativity: this reflects the three-pronged approach to talent cultivation by integrating the shaping of values, the cultivating of skills and the imparting of knowledge. He said this also embodies university innovation culture and the value of social innovation.


LI Chang delivers a speech.

The University Student Science and Technology Association and Tsinghua x-lab organized the competition, which encouraged students to participate in interdisciplinary competitions and to take their ideas to the market and society. This year’s competition combined competition and courses, and aimed to merge a curriculum knowledge system with scientific and creative events, and to comprehensively improve the students' scientific literacy and innovation.

Exchanges over Competition

The final pitch was divided into five tracks: campus optimization; public welfare and social innovation; sustainable urban development; environment and energy; and healthcare.


Team of sub-track presents.


Team of sub-track presents.

At the competition, teams introduced their products or services to the sub-track judges using videos, pictures, and physical objects. The teams shortlisted for the final needed to present in turn to the group jury. Each team had 7 minutes, of which 5 minutes would be presentation time and 2 minutes question and answer.

The "cool, easy-to-park, changeable locking foldable handlebars" team from the campus optimization track attracted attention as soon as it appeared. Unlike the teams that displayed concept pictures, they brought an actual prototype of a foldable bike with a white body and silver folding handlebars.


The "Cool, Easy-to-Park, Changeable Locking Foldable Handlebars" team

They dug into the reasons why it was difficult to park and collect bikes on the Tsinghua campus and found that the handlebars of bicycles parked side by side would block each other, which led them to the idea of foldable handlebars. Foldable handlebars could cut the required parking space nearly in half, and would allow nearly twice as many bicycles to be parked in the same area. They also bring other advantages. The team used a triangular structure and lock to transform the folded two handlebars into a front wheel lock. The triangular design resembled the reactor on the front of Iron Man's chest. The team leader said, "I hope the design can make bike rides a little closer to being as cool as Iron Man."

The team members responded confidently to judge GUO Wei's questions about practicability and safety. They said that such problems were considered at the start of the design. For example, a handlebar length adjustment mechanism was added, and the modified structure of the design was simple and would not affect basic functions such as braking and gear adjustment.


GUO Wei speaks.

HAO Xiuqing, deputy director of Tsinghua X-lab, said at the project review that although the participants came from different majors and focused on different themes, their confidence and calmness showed the creativity and vitality of Tsinghua's freshmen. Their ideas were not merely creative but also considered technical and commercial feasibility.


HAO Xiuqing speaks.

The judges conducted a final review after all 15 teams completed their presentation and ranked each, as well as named an overall competition champion.

DING Kairui, leader of the team that designed the "Cool, easy-to-park, changeable locking foldable handlebars," said at the awards cceremony that his biggest achievement in the competition was learning to let himself leverage others' strengths and listen to their suggestions. The idea for this project came not only from the contestants, but was also a crystallization of the brainstorming and wisdom of the whole class.

Creativity for Future

HAN Wentao, deputy secretary of the CCYL Tsinghua University Committee, said he appreciated the wonderful showing by the finalists. The students looked to the campus, the country, society and mankind to solve current problems. This spirit is worth encouraging, he said. On the journey of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship, everyone showed great creativity, HAN said.

HAN said although some teams ran into logical problems during the pitching phase, he hoped everyone would not feel defeated. The creative competition was still a good opportunity. During one's first year, it's especially important to think out of the box, and to record and express your ideas based on daily observations and thoughts. This is the real significance of this competition, HAN said.


HAN Wentao gives his concluding remarks.

HAN said he hoped students would use the competition as a starting point, make good use of the resources available inside and outside school, interact with and polish their skills with teachers and students, and explore their own path to creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.


Group photo

Contest Winners

Gold Award

Cool, Easy-to-Park, Changeable Locking Foldable Handlebars

Track Winners

Campus Optimization Track

First Prize: Cool, Easy-to-Park, Changeable Locking Foldable Handlebars

Second Prize: Efficient Fitness Washing Machine for Dorms

Third Prize: Light Food

Public Welfare and Social Innovation Track

First Prize: Intelligent Interactive System for the Blind

Second Prize: Female Accessories for Invasion Defense

Third Prize: Personalized Application of Relieving Appearance Anxiety

Sustainable Urban Development Track

First Prize: Low Carbon Glass

Second Prize: Modular Wall

Third Prize: Mobile Platform for Private Electric Vehicle Battery Replacement

Environment and Energy Track

First Prize: Earth Cooling Umbrella

Second Prize: Botanical Synthesis of Ethylene

Third Prize: Novel Methods of Reducing Methane Emissions in Ruminant Livestock Through Ex Vivo Digestion of Cellulose

Healthcare Track

First Prize: Artificial Immune Cells (AIC)

Second Prize: Biological Micro Robot

Third Prize: Safe Fitness

Source: Tsinghua x-lab

Editors: REN Zhongxi, Derrick Sobodash