/Regional Innovation Competition 2021

Regional Innovation Competition 2021

From regional to international markets

Connect, grow your business and win EUR 5 000!

Are you a start-up from one of the RIS countries with innovation and business relevant to the raw materials sector? Apply to the Regional Innovation Competition 2021 and become part of the world’s largest innovation community in raw materials!

The competition is open for innovators from RIS countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Hungary, Greece, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine.

The Regional Innovation Competition is one of the EIT RawMaterials business creation instruments dedicated to supporting start-ups from RIS countries.

Regional Innovation Competition 2021 aims to provide established start-ups in RIS region with support to:

  • connect with local EIT RawMaterials RIS incubators
  • connect with local and pan-European ecosystems and markets
  • provide with dedicated coaching opportunities
  • prepare for entering EIT RawMaterials business creation and support offerings
  • realise their business

Regional Innovation Competition is an innovation programme with workshops, coaching vouchers, local support with RIS Incubators closing with a final pitching competition and prize awards. The competition is divided into three phases.

Phase 1: Submission of ideas

  • To participate in the Regional Innovation Competition 2021, the applicants must present a full application on the predetermined online form. Submission deadline: 30 September 2021, 23:59 CET.
  • The best start-ups will be selected to go to the next phase.

Phase 2: Workshops and coaching vouchers

  • The applicants selected in Phase 1 will be invited to participate in Phase 2. In Phase 2, selected start-ups will participate in 2 online workshops, will receive 3-5 hourly vouchers for coaching and connection with local EIT RawMaterials RIS Incubators for support. Phase 2 will be between October to December 2021 (actual dates will be announced in due course of the programme.)

Phase 3: Final pitching

  • In Phase 3, selected start-ups will be invited to compete at the Final Pitching event. The start-ups will pitch their idea in front of a Jury, composed of the EIT RawMaterials team and external evaluators.
  • The TOP 3 start-ups selected from the Jury will be awarded:
    • 1st prize: EUR 5,000
    • 2nd prize: EUR 3,000
    • 3rd prize: EUR 2,000

Thematic scope



Exploration and raw materials resource assessment



Mining in challenging environments


Resource Efficiency

Increased resource efficiency in mineral and metallurgical processes



Recycling and material chain optimisation for End-of-Life products



Substitution of critical and toxic materials in products and for optimised performance


Circular Economy

Design of products and services for the circular economy

In the Regional Innovation Competition 2021, EIT RawMaterials seeks companies developing solutions for:

  • Sustainable Discovery and Supply of primary and secondary resources (innovative solutions based for example on artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual reality etc.) for securing and processing strategic mineral resources in a sustainable and safe way and with a social license to operate.
  • Sustainable Materials for Future Mobility (materials for electrification such as batteries, fuel cells, magnets; materials for lightweight design including steels, non-ferrous alloys, composites, multimaterials).
  • Raw Materials and Circular Societies (new circular business models such as reuse, repair, remanufacturing, sharing economy).

Application process

Key dates:

  • Deadline for submitting applications: 30 September 2021, 23:59 CET
  • Selection of start-ups and notification of acceptance/rejection: during October 2021
  • Workshops and coaching vouchers: between October and December 2021
  • Final Award Ceremony: December 2021 (exact date to be communicated in due course)

Eligibility criteria

The following entities may apply:
  1. SMEs (according to the European Commission’s definitions) having innovation projects relevant to the prize topics defined above
  2. Start-up or spin-off companies at least registered at the time of the application

The EIT RawMaterials Regional Innovation Competition 2021 is open to any legal entity established in the following selected RIS countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Hungary, Greece, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine.

For more information

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with Antonis Politis, Business Development Manager at EIT RawMaterials.

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