Aca Innovation Challenge

Embrace the challenge and be part of the future of Construction.


ACA Innovation Challenge is a competition for entrepreneurs, visionaries, leaders, students and researchers, with ideas and solutions to stimulate innovation and circularity in the construction sector.

We want to learn about new technologies, with an impact on the Grupo ACA's business areas (Buildings; Roads & Infrastructures; Energy, Water & Environment; Industrial Centres), and understand how they can be applied to the built environment, either during construction or throughout the life cycle of buildings and infrastructures.

ACA Innovation Challenge features 3 challenges:

  1. Innovation Student
  2. Open Innovation
  3. Innovation Software

Create your profile below.

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Embrace this opportunity and help us build a more innovative future.



1. Who can apply to the ACA Innovation Challenge?

ACA Innovation Challenge is aimed at students, researchers, entrepreneurs, visionaries and leaders with ideas that contribute to improving the built and circular environment. It targets two main audiences of interest: 1) Academic and Scientific Community (students and researchers); 2) Entrepreneurs and Visionaries (individual entrepreneurs, start-ups, micro and small enterprises).

2. How can I apply for the ACA Innovation Challenge?

Applications must be submitted in Portuguese or English, using the official application form, available on the ACA Group website.

3. What should I consider in my application?

Applications must be submitted using the official application form, which has a series of pre-defined fields. Through the application form, you should characterize your business idea, reflecting, among other things, about the expected results, differentiating factors compared to existing approaches or technologies on the market, environmental, economic and social impact of the idea. In addition to the form, you may attach additional elements to your application, such as: video pitch, documentation on the business idea, CVs or other documentation you consider relevant.

4. I am a student. Can I apply for the Open Innovation and Innovation Software challenges?

Yes, but they are not the right challenges for your profile. These awards are essentially aimed at entrepreneurs and visionaries (individual entrepreneurs, start-ups, spinoffs, and microenterprises, etc.), with the main focus being to learn about promising ideas, solutions, or business models that are already at a certain level of maturity.

5. Can I apply for the 3 open challenges?

Yes, but only one application is allowed, per participant, per modality.

6. Can I submit multiple applications for the same challenge?

No. Only one application, per modality, per person is allowed. If several applications are inadvertently submitted, the one with the most recent submission date will be considered, and the others will be disqualified.

7. I have a company and would like to apply to leverage my business. Can I participate?

Yes, entrepreneurs and sole proprietorships (self-employed) or incorporated businesses (sole proprietorships), as well as start-ups (innovative early stage companies with high growth potential) with innovative and scalable business models are eligible. Also eligible are micro-enterprises (fewer than 10 people and annual turnover up to 2 million euros) and small enterprises (fewer than 50 people and annual turnover up to 10 million euros) operating in fields similar to the competition.

8. I am a researcher and have a business idea. Can I apply for Innovation Student even if I am not a student?

Yes, ACA Innovation Challenge is aimed at two main audiences of interest: 1) Academic and Scientific Community (mainly students and researchers); 2) Entrepreneurs and Visionaries (individual entrepreneurs, start-ups, micro and small companies).

9. I have just entered higher education and have an idea for Innovation Student challenge. Can I participate?

Yes, if you are a student, you are part of the target audience of the ACA Innovation Student. However, please note that only applicants of legal age (18 years of age or older as of April 30, 2023) may participate in the competition.

10. I am not Portuguese and I can't speak in Portuguese. Can I participate in the challenges?

Yes, the competition is open to candidates of any nationality and citizenship, provided they are fluent in Portuguese or English.

11. I work in an ACA Group company. Can I participate?

No. Proposals submitted by employees or contractors of ACA Engenharia e Construção or other companies of the Grupo ACA are not eligible.

12. My company is an academic spin-off. Can I apply?

Yes. However, business entities or associations, regardless of their size and/or area of activity that have a shareholder link to business groups belonging to the construction sector or areas of activity competing with those of the ACA Group are not eligible.

13. Is there a limit to the number of applications? Can the application deadline close earlier for this reason?

There is no limit. Applications to the ACA Innovation Challenge may be submitted until 23:59h (GMT) on 28/02/2023, regardless of the number of applications received. Please note that these dates may be changed at any time by the managing body of the competition, and changes will be communicated in a timely manner.

14. Can I submit my application in French or Spanish?

No. Applications must be submitted in Portuguese or English, using the official application form.

15. Can I send additional documents via the email provided?

No. Applications must be submitted using the official application form, which is available on the ACA Group website. Any additional documents will also be submitted through the platform.

16. What is the cost of each application?

Applications to the different modalities of the competition are free of charge.

17. I have not received any application notification. How do I know that my application has been registered?

After successful submission of the application form, you should receive a confirmation email. If no confirmation is received within 24 hours of submission, you should contact the contest team via the following contact means: 
• E-mail: 
• Whatsapp: 933 654 303

18. How will the awards be delivered?

The ACA Innovation Challenge awards will be announced and presented in a timely manner. Please stay tuned to our publications.

19. How are the confidentiality and intellectual property issues of my idea safeguarded?

Grupo ACA applies the General Regulation on Personal Data Protection (RGPD), respecting the obligations regarding access to personal data provided in the application form and other information provided in this contest.
A confidentiality agreement will be signed with all parties involved in the competition, external to the Grupo ACA, namely with the jury of each award.
If necessary, any intellectual property in the awarded projects will be legally protected, and will be negotiated, shared, and assigned as agreed between the Grupo ACA and the respective authors.

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