Aca Innovation Challenge

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


ACA Innovation Challenge is an open innovation competition for entrepreneurs, visionaries, leaders, students and researchers with ideas and solutions that help stimulate innovation in the AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) sector.

Seeking a more innovative, intelligent and sustainable construction, we want to learn about innovative approaches and new technologies and understand how they can be applied to the built environment, whether during construction or throughout the life cycle of buildings and infrastructures.

The 2nd edition of the ACA Innovation Challenge has 2 challenges, with different scopes and prizes. Applications can be submitted to each of these challenges, depending on their level of maturity and development.

Create your participant profile below and be part of the future of construction!


2nd Edition













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, small and medium 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 idea, CVs or other documentation you consider relevant.

4. Can I apply for the 2 open challenges?

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

5. 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.

6. 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), small enterprises (fewer than 50 people and annual turnover up to 10 million euros) and medium firms (fewer than 250 people and annual turnover up to 50 million euros) operating in fields similar to the competition.

7. I am a researcher and have a business idea. Can I apply for ACA Innovation Challenge?

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, small and medium companies).

8. I have just entered higher education and have an idea for ACA Innovation Challenge. Can I participate?

Yes, if you are a student, you are part of the target audience of the ACA Innovation Challenge. However, please note that only applicants of legal age (18 years of age or older as of August 30, 2024) may participate in the competition.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. 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 11:59pm (GMT) on 09th june 2024, 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.

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

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

14. 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.

15. What is the cost of each application?

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

16. 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 e-mail address:

17. 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.

18. Any more questions?

If you have any further questions, please contact us using the following mail address:


  • Commercial Spaces
  • Hospitals
  • Industrial
  • Non-Residential
Read More

Roads & Infrastructures

  • Sporting
  • Railways
  • Geotechnics & Special Foundations
  • Ports & Maritime Requalification
Read More


  • ETA (Water Treatment Plant) & Reservoirs
  • ETAR (Wastewater Treatment Plant)
  • Electrical installations
  • Mechanical installations
Read More

Industrial Centres

  • Concrete Plant
  • Centre for Bituminous Mixtures
  • Quarries & Aggregates Production
Read More