Finnova Foundation

RES4CITY Startup Europe Accelerathon boosts green solutions for smart cities and provides access to European funds - Finnova Foundation

RES4CITY Startup Europe Accelerathon boosts green solutions for smart cities and provides access to European funds

  • RES4CITY Startup Europe Accelerathon is an open innovation competition composed by three challenges that bring together the circular economy ecosystem.
  • Accelerathon winners will have the opportunity to apply for European funds to make their proposals a reality.
  • RES4CITY Startup Europe Accelerathon utilises a Startup Europe methodology of innovative project acceleration, led by Finnova Foundation.
  • Sign up on this link

RES4CITY is delighted to launch the RES4CITY Startup Europe Accelerathon, a project that aims to encourage the development of innovative solutions to challenges related to renewable energy and fuel technologies in urban environments. The accelerathon is open to students, SMEs, entrepreneurs, researchers, start-ups, organizations, and entities in general that wish to contribute to sustainable development in urban environments.

Finnova Foundation, as a RES4CITY consortium partner, leads a Startup Europe methodology of innovative project acceleration that will be used in the RES4CITY Startup Europe Accelerathon. This Accelerathon aims to find solutions and funding through a competition of applied open innovation that brings together the circular economy sector and accelerates ideas and concepts related to clean energies in cities, and which integrate circularity. In this regard, an online competition methodology is established with training, mentors, jury, and a European Acceleration Ticket prize with the aim of presenting the project to European funding programmes.

The European Acceleration Ticket consists of a prize offered to the winners that will help that project to apply for European funds. In this case, the Finnova Foundation will advise the winning teams to turn their winning projects into a pilot program eligible for funding. On the other hand, they will also attend events related to the topic of their idea to gain visibility and meet other interested parties. In addition, all RES4CITY Startup Europe Accelerathon participants will have access to the Finnova European Funds online platform, with information on the various EU funding programs.


RES4CITY Startup Europe Accelerathon is looking for ideas, projects or proposals that provide solutions to the following challenges:

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

Studies have shown that the transition to EVs will result in a 25% increase in electricity demand over current levels by 2040. As the vehicle fleet electrifies, one of the major challenges is the availability and reliability of charging infrastructure. This is where smart energy storage solutions step in to revolutionize EV charging. The solutions required to this challenge are focused on smart energy storage solutions to optimize energy flow, ensuring efficient and cost-effective EV charging, reduce grid strain during peak demand and stabilize the power grid and the 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. 

Land degradation costs an estimated EUR 36 billion annually worldwide, without considering the hidden costs of increased fertilizer use, loss of biodiversity, and unique landscapes. Returning biological material back into the soil will reduce the need for replenishment with additional nutrients. The solutions required to this challenge are focused on alternatives that address efficient soil and land management through shifting operations in line with the principles of the circular economy.

Challenge 3: Design green hydrogen production projects. 

Green hydrogen produced from renewable energy is being considered as one of the promising solutions to achieve Net Zero plans. However, Green hydrogen projects requires significant amounts of renewable energy and water as inputs for electrolysers, and this will likely put pressure on land allocation for hydrogen production and water supplies. The solutions of this challenge are required to focus on the design of thoughtful green hydrogen production projects which properly manage impacts on water supply and land used.


The RES4CITY Startup Europe Accelerathon is open to participants globally – students, entrepreneurs, researchers, start-ups, universities, public sector organizations and entities in general (public and private) on the condition that they are committed to have an idea or project on one of the proposed challenges.

Participation in the Accelerathon can be both individual or by 3-5 people teams. It may be noted that those who are accepted as individual participants may be allocated to a team.


Eligible participants must have a minimum of a B2 level in English, as this will be the working language of the Accelerathon. In addition, participants should consider that the Accelerathon will be conducted online, so participants must have a computer and internet connectivity to participate.


  • Registration: 15 November to February 2024
  • Info Session: January 2024
  • Team building: February 2024 – March 2024
  • Competition: March 2024 – June 2024
  • Semifinal: June 2024 (online)
  • Grand Final: First half of October 2024 (on-site event in Brussels)

If you think you have innovative ideas related to the challenges that are posed, you may register for the Accelerathon through 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. It aims to enhance the development of sustainable renewable energy and fuel technologies in cities by co-designing an innovative educational program with stakeholders and promoting sustainability and circularity, filling knowledge and skills gaps for a successful energy transition.


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