Finnova Foundation

LIFE Startup Europe Awards call open until August 25: recognizing entrepreneurial talent in circular economy and sustainability. - Finnova Foundation

LIFE Startup Europe Awards call open until August 25: recognizing entrepreneurial talent in circular economy and sustainability.

  • The call is looking for those ideas, initiatives or projects that solve challenges in the field of circular economy and sustainability in sectors such as water, energy and waste recovery.
  • If you think that your project could be one of the winners, participate through this form:
  • The winner will benefit from a European Acceleration Ticket, based on training on European funding through the EU Training Platform and advice on how to turn the winning proposal into a project eligible for funding in programs such as LIFE and HORIZON.

The LIFE ECOdigestion 2.0 project has opened new challenges within the LIFE ECODIGESTION 2.0 Startups Europe Awards (LIFE SEUA) and has extended the reception of applications for the three categories until August 25, 2023, at 23h59 (CEST). These challenges are looking for other general solutions that bring innovations related to water and energy, wastewater, resource efficiency and agricultural waste.

With these extensions, the Finnova Foundation – partner of the LIFE ECODIGESTION 2.0 project together with Global Omnium and Àguas do Centro Litoral – reaffirms its commitment to those projects that not only limit their line of action to the objectives of the LIFE ECODIGESTION 2.0 project and the Wastewater Treatment Plants, but also seeks to reward those projects that are committed to moving towards a resource efficient, low carbon and climate resilient economy.

LIFE SEUA is a useful open innovation tool to promote the exchange of experiences, add value to the entrepreneurial ecosystem and help startups to grow and position themselves in the market. Startups, SMEs and innovative initiatives capable of solving current challenges in the area of water, energy and waste valorization are invited to sign up for these awards. The Finnova Foundation implements through LIFE SEUA this methodology of the European Commission in collaboration with Startup Europe. The winners will be announced on September 20 and 21, 2023 in the framework of the Greencities and S-Moving forums in FYCMA (Palacio de Ferias y Congresos de Málaga).


LIFE ECODIGESTION 2.0 SEUA wants to locate those ideas, initiatives or projects that offer products, services or methodologies that are committed to innovation in the field of circular economy and sustainability in sectors such as water, energy and waste recovery responding to the following challenges:

  • Innovative solutions on Water and Energy. This new challenge advocates more general solutions that bring innovations in the fields of water and energy, wastewater, resource efficiency and agricultural waste.
  • Improving biogas generation in wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) and improving their energy efficiency. This challenge aims to achieve a first level technology applied to wastewater treatment, which allows saving energy costs, and to seek companies and entrepreneurs that promote the generation of biogas, improve the efficiency of its production or its subsequent use in services such as fleets of public vehicles with the objectives of circular economy and sustainable mobility as the focus.
  • Sustainable technology for the valorization of sludge from wastewater treatment plants (WWTP). This challenge seeks a project or initiative that provides a sustainable technological solution for the treatment and disposal of WWTP sludge and its subsequent valorization. Two criteria that will be prioritized is that it must be a sustainable technology capable of transforming the limited use of sludge (typically agricultural applications such as fertilizers) into ways of generating value and profitability (e.g., co-production of biofuel).

SMEs, corporations, start-ups, scale-ups, spin-offs, universities, students, and anyone interested in entrepreneurship, who belong to or develop their activity in sectors related to water, energy and circular economy and who can provide innovative solutions to the proposed challenges.


The selected application will benefit from a European acceleration ticket, based on:

  • Mentoring: consultation for projects tailored to each sector and training on European funds through an e-learning platform.
  • Networking: assistance in EU relations and networking, advice on the European legal framework and support for the internationalization of the project.
  • EU funding: support to turn the winning ideas or proposals into European projects that can be implemented within the thematic framework of application.

A jury, formed by João Simão, executive director of the Portuguese Water Partnership; Mark Barker, CEO of Wex Global, and Elías Colom, director of Corporate Marketing at Global Omnium, will assess and evaluate the proposals submitted based on their viability, the response to the challenges posed, innovation, internationalization and investment and feasibility of the business model.


The awards are part of the LIFE ECODIGESTION 2.0 pilot demonstration project, financed by the LIFE Program and with a budget of more than 970,000 euros, which generates biogas in sewage treatment plant digesters by mixing putrescible organic waste (slurry, poultry, organic fractions, MSW, HORECA, etc.), thus transforming sewage sludge into green energy through technology. The initiative led by Global Omnium, (Spain), in collaboration with the Finnova Foundation (Belgium) and Águas do Centro Litoral (Portugal) aims to become the most versatile digestion control tool on the market, achieving environmental and economic benefits through the production of biogas by making optimal use of waste.

Wastewater Treatment Plants, or WWTPs, are used to eliminate waste, floating grease and oils, sand and other elements that may be contained in the water, as well as sediment able materials, both organic and inorganic, and biodegradable organic matter dissolved in the water.


Finnova is the Spanish-Belgian non-profit foundation based in Brussels and Spain, working for the promotion and development of innovation and entrepreneurship in the EU. Finnova’s experience in leading communication and dissemination activities of European projects is combined with a solid proven track record in business creation and entrepreneurship support programs, such as accelerators, incubators and events, as well as its commitment to training and employability of young people.


  • Deadline for submission of applications: Friday, August 25, 2023, at 23:59 CEST.
  • Evaluation, deliberation and jury’s decision: between Monday, August 28, 2023, to Thursday, September 14, 2023.
  • Notification of the selected proposal: Friday, September 15, 2023, internally.
  • Award ceremony to the winning startup: Thursday, September 21, 2023, in person, in the framework of Greencities and S-Moving at FYCMA.

Do you have a project in the circular economy, water, or energy sector?

Boost your project or innovative idea and apply before August 25, 2023, to the LIFE SEUA awards!

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