What is GAEA

Welcome to the Green Alternatives for European Autonomy (GAEA) Open Innovation Program. 

Innovate in GAEA

GAEA stands at the forefront of Europe’s quest for sustainable development and energy autonomy. Aligned with the European Green Deal, GAEA actively contributes to Europe’s response to global environmental challenges and the geopolitical landscape, particularly in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. By fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in the green energy sector, GAEA not only addresses immediate regional needs but also plays a crucial role in shaping a resilient and autonomous European future. 

GAEA is designed for innovators who want to transform their ideas into sustainable innovations and for researchers who want to engage in cutting-edge projects by bringing scientific discoveries to market. 

This is a pivotal moment to engage with the GAEA Project – your gateway to the heart of Europe’s dynamic open innovation program towards energy autonomy. 

Embrace this opportunity with GAEA and join the path towards a greener, more resilient, and sustainable future. 

Let’s innovate, transform, and lead the change in shaping the energy-autonomous Europe of the future. 

Register in your country

Explore Innovation Areas

Our Objectives


10 April – 10 May 2024
Info Days
Don't miss the Info Day for each participating country to learn more about the Green Alternatives for European Autonomy (GAEA) program and get to know the procedure.
10 April – 10 May 2024
11 March 2023 to 12 May 2024
Application Phase
Innovators and Researchers can now register on IMS platform and submit their ideas by completing the participation form.
11 March 2023 to 12 May 2024
15 May – 31 May 2024
Phase 1: Idea Generation & preparation for the Regional Innovation Competitions
Elevate your Skills at Bootcamp Trainings!
Embark on an intensive learning journey and get a hands-on learning experience by strengthen your idea and transforming it in a real startup.
15 May – 31 May 2024
29 May to 21 June 2024
Phase 1: Regional Innovation Competitions
Pitch your ideas to your country's Innovation Competition!
Join Phase 1 of the program and get prepared for the Regional Innovation Competition that will rank the best teams to proceed to the Interregional Innovation Competition!
29 May to 21 June 2024
July 2024
Phase 1: Firm Visits
Discover Innovation up close!
Teams that proceed to Phase 2 will have the opportunity to visit leading industrial firms in their country and understand better the ongoing challenges they are facing in the energy sector
July 2024
July - October 2024
Phase 2: Incubation & Interregional Innovation Competition
The best five teams by each country proceed to Phase 2 and receive dedicated support before pitching their startup idea to the Interregional Competition
July - October 2024
September 2024
Phase 2: Semi-Final
Interregional Innovation Competition
Pitch your ideas online to the Semi-Final and earn your spot in the finals held on-site in Athens, Greece.
September 2024
October 2024
Phase 2: Interregional Innovation Competition
The grand finale where top ideas take the center stage
This is your moment to shine and make a real impact.
The best five teams will proceed in Phase 3 to receive support for establishing their startup.
October 2024
November 2024 - September 2025
Phase 3: Acceleration & Startup Establishment
The best five teams of the Intrerregional Pitching Competition will proceed in establishing their startup while also developing their Proof-of-Concept (PoC) with a leading industry and making their first sales.
Dedicated support on go-to-market strategy, business operations and strategy planning, accounting and legal matters as well as networking with investors will be provided to support their first steps as entrepreneurs.
November 2024 - September 2025


March 2024 to June 2024

Phase 1 – Idea Generation & Regional Innovation Competitions

Application Deadline: 12/05/24

July 2024 to October 2024

Phase 2 – Incubation & Interregional Innovation Competition

The best five teams coming by each regional innovation competition (Phase 1).

November 2024 to September 2025

Phase 3 – Acceleration & Startup Establishment

The best five teams coming by the Interregional Innovation Competition (Phase 2).


Anyone can apply.

This means whether you have an innovative idea or not and whether you have already a team or not, Phase 1 is open to everybody.

We could define (but not restrict):

  • Individuals from Business, Finance, Marketing, Technology, and Engineering academic sectors studying or recently graduated from any European University
  • Researchers and/or Ph.D. students in any relevant to the Innovation Areas science fields from any European University
  • Other individuals interested in teaming up with the above-mentioned categories

The program supports participants through a blend of theoretical knowledge and practical application. It offers access to methodological business planning tools, opportunities for networking with industry leaders, and exposure to real-world business scenarios. This holistic approach ensures that participants not only learn the fundamentals of entrepreneurship but also apply these concepts to develop their business ideas effectively.

Teams do not need to have prior knowledge of how to implement their idea. All participants can attend the Bootcamp Trainings where training will be provided with the help of mentors.

Participants in the Pre-Acceleration Program should expect a 4-week intensive journey, which includes one-on-one mentoring sessions and bootcamp trainings. The program is designed to be immersive, requiring active participation and engagement in various activities and workshops to fully benefit from the learning experience.

The start date for submissions is the 11th of March 2024, and the closing date is the 17th of April 2024.

Be aware that if you miss the deadline for Phase 1 you can apply to directly join the Innovation Competition in your country by the 17th of May 2024. However, we highly suggest you join the preparatory phase during April, to get prepared for the Competition.

Although the participation of individuals is allowed, it is encouraged to participate in groups of up to 5 people.
Whether you have already a team or not, during Phase 1 we will support you in finding the ideal co-founders for your startup idea or match you with a team that fits you the most.

The intellectual property of the idea to be developed belongs exclusively to the participating team. 

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