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UEFA launches Champions Innovate to catalyse innovation around the UEFA Champions League final in London

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Champions Innovate’s ambition is to find and empower the next champions of innovation through a start-up challenge, with the aim of creating a lasting and positive impact in London, host city of the 2024 UEFA Champions League final.

UEFA is proud to introduce Champions Innovate, a pioneering programme designed to address contemporary and meaningful challenges while fostering disruptive innovation. Champions Innovate, a proprietary initiative of the UEFA Innovation Hub, represents a groundbreaking partnership between UEFA, the Greater London Authority, and commercial partners – PepsiCo, Mastercard and Just Eat Takeaway.com – with the aim of enhancing the 2024 UEFA Champions League final’s social and environmental impact leaving a lasting positive impact on London, the host city.

In recent months, UEFA has collaborated closely with the Greater London Authority, London & Partners and commercial partners to identify key challenges with shared importance surrounding the 2024 UEFA Champions League final. As a result, UEFA is launching a start-up challenge, inviting innovative sustainability-focused start-ups to propose ideas and solutions to specific challenges identified by PepsiCo, Mastercard and Just Eat Takeaway.com, all organisations which sponsor the UEFA Champions League. This year, the challenges focus on how fans can actively be involved in enhancing the final’s social and environmental impact.

Partners will eagerly mentor the selected start-ups throughout the testing phase, which will take place in London. If successful, the pilot projects will be used as part of the organisation around the UEFA Champions League final. All pilot solutions will finally be unveiled and celebrated at an event in London scheduled two days prior to the UEFA Champions League final in 2024.

Football is more than just a game, it's a global phenomenon that transcends boundaries. UEFA recognises the critical role of innovation in ensuring the long-term prosperity of European football, and the UEFA Champions League final serves as the perfect platform to go beyond the 90 minutes on the pitch. It also underlines UEFA's commitment to driving transformative change through innovation.

At the launch of this inaugural programme, Andrea Traverso, UEFA’s Director of Financial Sustainability and Research said: "The UEFA Champions League final is synonymous with excellence, and UEFA is determined to bring together top-tier commercial partners and the world's most promising entrepreneurs to catalyse change, both on and off the field. At UEFA, we acknowledge that collaborating with experts is key to address numerous challenges and is why the UEFA Innovation Hub aspires to unite top talent from various industries. With Champions Innovate, the UEFA Innovation Hub aims to unearth the champions of innovation who can contribute to football's development in every aspect. Talent knows no limits, and UEFA is committed to nurturing it."

The application phase for start-ups interested in participating will open on 19 September and remain open until 20 October for the challenge relating to PepsiCo, and until 4 December for the challenges specific to Mastercard and Just Eat Takeaway.com. Detailed information is available here, and proposals can be submitted via this link.