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Call for Applicants in Green Alternatives for European Autonomy (GAEA) Challenge

20th of May

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 22nd. Program begins in May 27 and participation is free of charge!


Why 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 timeline is the following:

  • May-June, 2024: bootcamp, ideation support, regional innovation competitions.
  • July, 2024: company visits;
  • July-October, 2024: incubator and starpregional competitions;
  • September, 2024: interregional competition semi-finale;
  • October, 2024: interregional competition finale;
  • November, 2024-September 2025: accelerator and startup foundation.

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

  • Be among the top 3 teams and get access to the winning reward of €3,000.
  • Startup services worth up to €30,000.
  • Digital certificate from a top European green innovation initiative.
  • Networking with industry leaders, successful entrepreneurs, and leading organizations across Europe.

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. Moreover, among other partners, CIVITTA will provide various mentors to program participants, in the fields of business model development, funding, marketing and other relevant areas.

Interested parties are encouraged to visit the GAEA website to find more information and apply by the 22th 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.

If additional information is required, please contact CIVITTA representative: m.


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