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Frequently asked questions

How can I apply?

Simply fill out the application form before the final deadline of March 24, 2019 (23:59 CET) to apply.

After entries close, the top 15 applicants will be contacted for interviews end of March / early April 2019. An international expert jury will select the top five most successful collaborations and notify the winners by end of April. Click here to read the judging criteria.

Winners will join the Innovation Journey in Berlin (16. - 20.05.2019) and attend the ICCA 2019 conference Heidelberg (22. - 23.05.2019).

Who can apply?

Entry is open to teams of start-ups, NGOs or SMEs and local governments that jointly address climate change challenges. Entry is open to collaborative innovations teams from any country or region in the world.

What will the winners get?

The Better Together Award will give five collaborative innovation teams the visibility, know-how and connections needed to take their local climate action global. This includes:


Pitch & Inspire

  • Showcase your collaborative innovation during the various events to more than 1,000 international decision-makers

  • Attend a high-level Award Ceremony at the ICCA 2019

  • Pitch your solution to more than 200 international practitioners of local climate action at the ICCA Climate Neighborhoods


Exchange & Learn

  • Meet leading German and international sustainable urban transition experts and Berlin smart city start-ups

  • Experience the Berlin Innovation Journey, based on your needs and interests

  • Visit Berlin’s leading climate innovation campus (EUREF), an innovation hub where start-ups, academics, corporates, and local utilities co-create the future of sustainable urban development and the energy transition


Exhibit & Promote

  • Get professional video material from your pitches and a video profile of your innovative collaboration at the Better Together Award website

  • Exhibit your solution throughout the ICCA 2019 conference at a dedicated Better Together Marketplace

  • Get featured as a global lighthouse example in the Better Together Trend Report, launched at the ICCA 2019 and distributed via the networks of international networks  for local climate action such as Energy Cities, REN21, SloCAat, Climate Alliance, UN Habitat , ICLEI and many more


Connect & Scale

  • Present your solution at an invitation-only event to a curated audience of German city representatives in Berlin

  • Benefit from targeted match-making with the international participants during the ICCA 2019

What are the judging criteria?

Applying teams will be judged on four criteria:


  1. Impact of the collaborative solution

  2. Quality of the collaboration

  3. Innovativeness of the solution

  4. Scalability

Do we have to provide a technological solution?

No. While many solutions to climate change issues are indeed technology based, we focus on the success and innovative approaches of local collaborations, rather than tools they use to provide the solution.

What kind of innovative collaborations are
you looking for?

The Better Together Award promotes and highlights the impact and value of collaboration between start-ups, SMEs or NGOs and local governments jointly implementing innovative solutions for effective climate mitigation and adaptation.We are seeking collaborations with mutual contribution of and benefit for all stakeholders involved.

We only accept applications by teams, with at least one representative of the start-up/NGO/SME and one representative of the local government.

Our collaboration includes more than two partners. What do I do?

The application form only allows you to enter two partners (one local government, one innovation partner). Please elaborate on other relevant partners when explaining the quality of the collaboration in the
application form.

Is there a participation fee?

Applying to the Better Together Award is free of charge. The top five winners receive a trip for two to Berlin
(16. - 20.05.2019) and Heidelberg (22. - 23.05.2019) in Germany. Travel expenses and accommodation will be fully covered.

What happens to my data and ideas?

All rights to the submitted documents and contents remain with the applicant.

Can I participate by myself or only as a team?

We are looking for innovative collaborations. Thus, we only accept applications by teams, with at least one representative of the start-up/NGO/SME and one representative of the local government.

Can I submit my application in my mother tongue?

We only accept applications in English. The Innovation Week in Berlin (16. - 20.05.2019) and ICCA 2019 in Heidelberg (22. - 23.05.2019) will also take place in English.

Can I change my application once submitted?

Once you submitted your application it will not be possible to change it again.

Who to contact if any other questions come up?

Sophie and Krisje at are happy to help!

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Participation fee
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