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"Green Alternatives for European Autonomy" (GAEA) Challenge invites to participate in Open Innovation Program supporting young entrepreneurs and their sustainable innovations

Image author: No LLU arhīva

GAEA Challenge invites innovators, researchers, and startup enthusiasts to participate in the "Green Alternatives for European Autonomy" (GAEA) Challenge funded by European Union. This comprehensive Open Innovation Program is designed to foster innovative solutions contributing to European Energy Autonomy. Participants can apply individually or as a team, and with or without an existing business idea. Best business ideas will have a chance to receive cash prizes and startup services worth up to €30,000. The deadline for registration is May 12th.

What the GAEA Challenge is important?

In a world facing critical environmental challenges and the imperative of sustainable development, Europe aims to take a leading role. GAEA aims to generate and accelerate innovative solutions that can tackle contemporary challenges related to the European Green Deal and the aftermath implications of the Russia-Ukraine war. By creating respective innovation competitions in eight (8) countries GAEA aims to enhance its span across Europe and enable the whole process from idea generation to startup creation.

The Initiative in details

The GAEA Challenge will feature regional innovation competitions across eight European countries including Serbia, Slovakia, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Greece. The program is segmented into three phases: initial regional competitions, an incubation period with an interregional competition, and finally, acceleration and startup establishment. Participants will start with ideation phase, where mentors will help with idea development in one of the key innovation areas: Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Renewable Energy, Smart & Sustainable Cities, Exploration and Resource Assessment, Mining in Challenging Environments, Increased Resource Efficiency in Mineral and Metallurgical Processes, Recycling and Material Chain Optimization for End-of-Life Products, Substitution of Critical and Toxic Materials, and the Design of Products and Services for the Circular Economy.

A wide range of benefits for participants expected

The participants of the GAEA Challenge will benefit from a preparatory period involving a 4-week bootcamp to refine ideas and prepare participants for regional competitions and will also have a chance to win substantial prizes and supports, including startup services worth up to €30,000, mentoring by industry experts, and networking opportunities with leading entrepreneurs. Moreover, participants have the opportunity to progress from regional competitions to a grand finale interregional challenge where the best ideas will be showcased to a wide audience, including potential investors.

Interested parties are encouraged to visit the GAEA website to find more information and apply by the 12th of May 2024:

GAEA is a key initiative aligned with the European Green Deal, aiming to address the continent’s energy challenges through innovation and sustainable development. This project is supported by funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. The Innovation Enabler and organizer of the GAEA Challenge is Mantis Beyond Innovation, in collaboration with leading organizations including the UNESCO Chair on Green Innovation and Circular Economy of the National Technical University of Athens, EIT Raw Materials, PASEPPE, and Sustainability InnoCenter, the GAEA Challenge seeks to enhance innovation and entrepreneurship in response to the urgent environmental challenges and the pursuit of European autonomy.

Submitted on: 22/04/2024