Startup Europe Awards

Open call for Res4CITY Startup Europe Accelerathon to seek green solutions for smart cities

  • The challenges encompass smart energy storage, efficient land management, and green hydrogen.
  • Aimed at students, SMEs, entrepreneurs, researchers, startups, organizations, and entities in general, the call is open until February 15, 2024.

  • Winners will benefit from a European Acceleration ticket, aiding them in accessing European funds.

Encouraging the development of innovative solutions to challenges related to renewable energies and fuel technologies in urban environments is the goal of the Res4City Startup Europe Awards Accelerathon, an initiative aimed at students, SMEs, entrepreneurs, researchers, startups, organizations, and entities in general, open until February 15, 2024.

The Accelerathon aims to find solutions and funding through an applied open innovation contest that brings together the circular economy sector and accelerates ideas and concepts related to clean energies in cities, integrating circularity as well.

Open to participants worldwide

The RES4CITY Startup Europe Accelerathon is open to participants worldwide: students, entrepreneurs, researchers, startups, universities, public sector organizations, and entities in general (both public and private), provided they have an idea, proposal, or project on one of the proposed challenges. Participation in the Accelerathon can be individual or in teams of 3 to 5 people. It should be noted that those accepted as individual participants may be assigned to a team.

Eligible participants must be proficient in English, as this will be the working language of the RES4CITY Startup Europe Accelerathon. Additionally, participants should be aware that the Accelerathon will take place online, so they will need a computer and internet connection to participate.

Three challenges

The RES4CITY Startup Europe Accelerathon seeks ideas, projects, or proposals that provide solutions to the following challenges:

Challenge 1: Use smart energy storage to improve the availability and reliability of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Studies have shown that the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) will result in a 25% increase in electricity demand compared to current levels by 2040. As the vehicle fleet electrifies, one of the main challenges is the availability and reliability of charging infrastructure. This is where smart energy storage solutions come into play to revolutionize EV charging. Solutions for this challenge focus on intelligent energy storage proposals to optimize energy flow, ensure efficient and cost-effective EV charging, reduce grid stress during demand peaks, and stabilize the electric grid and integration of existing infrastructure.

Challenge 2: Realize efficient soil and land management through shifting business operations in line with the principles of the circular economy.

Soil degradation costs an estimated 36 million euros annually worldwide, not accounting for the hidden costs of increased fertilizer use, loss of biodiversity, and unique landscapes. Returning biological material to the soil will reduce the need to replenish it with additional nutrients. Solutions needed for this challenge focus on alternatives that address efficient land and soil management by changing operations in line with circular economy principles.

Challenge 3: Design green hydrogen production projects.

Green hydrogen produced from renewable energies is considered one of the promising solutions to achieve Net Zero plans. However, green hydrogen projects require significant amounts of renewable energy and water as inputs for electrolyzers, likely putting pressure on land allocation for hydrogen production and water supply. Solutions to this challenge should focus on designing well-thought-out green hydrogen production projects that properly manage impacts on water supply and land use.

European acceleration ticket

The Finnova Foundation, as a partner of the RES4CITY consortium, leads a Startup Europe methodology for accelerating innovative projects to be used in the RES4CITY Startup Europe Accelerathon. An online competition methodology is established with training, mentors, juries, and a European Acceleration Ticket, consisting of a prize offered to winning teams to aid them in accessing European funds. In this case, the Finnova Foundation will advise the three winning teams to turn their proposals into an eligible pilot program for funding. They will also could attend events related to the theme of their idea to gain visibility and meet other stakeholders. Additionally, all participants of the RES4CITY Startup Europe Accelerathon will have access to the Finnova European Funds online platform, providing information on various EU funding programs.


  • Registration: until February 15, 2024
  • Information Session: January 2024
  • Team Formation: February 2024 to March 2024
  • Competition: March 2024 to June 2024
  • Semifinal: June 2024
  • Grand Final: October 2024 (in-person event in Brussels)

If you believe you have innovative ideas related to the challenges presented, you can register for the RES4CITY Startup Europe Accelerathon via this form:

About the RES4CITY project

RES4CITY is a 36-month project with a budget of 2.5 million euros, fully funded by the European Commission through the Horizon Europe Program. Its goal is to promote the development of sustainable renewable energies and fuel technologies in cities by jointly designing an innovative educational program with stakeholders and promoting sustainability and circularity, bridging knowledge and skills gaps for a successful energy transition.