Organisations can apply for a share of up to £10 million in total across the 3 stages, to create new or improved clean energy access in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia or the Indo-Pacific regions.
Programme: Innovate UK
Award: Share of up to £10 million
Opens: 27th Feb 2023
Closes: 28th Jun 2023
Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will work with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to invest up to £10 million in innovation projects. This funding is part of the Ayrton Fund.
The aim of this competition is to accelerate the innovations needed to create new or improved clean energy access in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia or the Indo-Pacific region. Creating a just and inclusive energy transition, and extending the benefits of clean energy to all to meet sustainable development goals (SDGs) 7 and 13
To be in scope for Energy Catalyst round 10 your project must address both energy access and clean energy.
Your project must aim to speed up access to affordable, clean energy services for poor households, enterprises and social institutions in official development assistance (ODA) eligible countries in sub-Saharan -Africa, the Indo-Pacific region, or South Asia. It must do this by supporting the development, testing or scale up of innovative technologies or business models.
A clear social or economic benefit in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia or the Indo-Pacific Region is required.
This can include:
Your technology or business model must create clean energy which is:
While any technology which meets the above criteria is in scope, priority will be given to the following Ayrton Challenge priority areas:
Innovate UK and The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), have allocated funding for projects specifically aimed at replacing diesel and petrol generators with sustainable alternatives, ideally integrating several of the technologies above.
Over 50% of your project must focus on energy access and energy innovation to be in scope. This is determined from your project costing and work packages.
Your project must:
Your project can also involve any organisation from any country.
You must only include eligible project costs in your application.
Under current restrictions, this competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian and Belarusian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian and Belarusian source.
There are two types of leads in energy catalyst programme, an administrative lead, who will complete the application and a technology lead.
An administrative lead is there to act as the recipient of the award and will distribute funding to all other partners. This is known as a ‘hub and spoke’ model. The administrative lead will manage and be accountable for the finances of the project in accordance with the terms and conditions of the award.
The administrative lead must:
A technology lead will lead on the development of the scope, work packages and any other technical work.
The technology lead:
There needs to be at least two grant claiming participants who are working on the project. This can include the administrative lead if they are doing technical work outside of the project administrative responsibilities.
You must involve at least one partner with a legal entity in one of the focus countries in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia or the Indo-Pacific, this can include in-country offices.
Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.
You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.
Innovate UK are not funding:
Innovate UK cannot fund projects that are:
Up to £10 million has been allocated in total across the 3 stages to fund innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.
The total funding available for this competition can change. The funders have the right to:
If your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically but for the purpose of this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.
For industrial research projects you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:
This funding is part of the UK government’s official development assistance budget (ODA). You must be able to demonstrate that there is a clear economic and social benefit to one or more of the targeted countries. This includes a need to outline how your project and innovation will positively impact Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI).
If projects are judged to be non-compliant with ODA, Innovate UK will not submit the application for assessment.
If you plan to leave capital equipment in the ODA eligible country you can, in principle, fully depreciate the costs.
Assets can be transferred but before Innovate UK can agree to this, you must provide evidence that:
This evidence should take the form of an end-of-life plan.
The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them. Of that 30% you could get funding for your eligible project costs of up to:
The technology leads of successful Energy Catalyst applications will be enrolled in the Energy Catalyst Accelerator. One to one support for this programme will be provided through minimal financial assistance (MFA). This allows public bodies to award up to £315,000 to an enterprise in a 3-year rolling financial period.
You will be contacted if you are successful and will be provided instruction on how to obtain this support.
Before receiving the support, you will be asked to declare previous funding received by you. To establish your eligibility, we need to check that our support added to the amount you have previously received does not exceed the limit of £315,000 in the ‘applicable period’.
The applicable period is made up of:
(a) the elapsed part of the current financial year, and
(b) the two financial years immediately preceding the current financial year.
You must include any funding which you have received during the applicable period under:
Book an appointment to speak to one of our advisors to discuss your eligibility to apply for this Grant Funding opportunity.