Funding competition Energy Catalyst Round 9 – Mid Stage

Organisations can apply for a share of up to £20 million to create new or improved clean energy access in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia or the Indo-Pacific regions.

This competition has not yet opened.

Start new application

Competition sections

Description

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) as part of the Ayrton Fund to invest up to £20 million in innovation projects.

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 Indo-Pacific regions. This will create a just and inclusive energy transition and extend the benefits of clean energy to all to meet sustainable development goals (SDGs) 7 'Affordable and clean energy' and 13 'Climate action'.

Your proposal must focus on:

  • improving energy access in official development assistance (ODA) eligible countries in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Indo-Pacific regions
  • have a technology or business model which is affordable, reliable and low carbon
  • consider the role of gender equality and social inclusion (GESI)

This competition is split into 3 strands:

Innovate UK runs many different competitions, and each will have different eligibility and scope requirements. The guidance in this competition brief will always supersede any other guidance. If you are unsure or have any questions, please contact our Customer Support Service who will assist you further.

In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process. This competition closes at 11am UK time on the deadline stated.

Funding type

Grant

Project size

Your project’s total costs must be between £50,000 and £1.5 million.

Who can apply

Your project

Your project must:

  • have total costs between £50,000 and £1.5 million
  • start by 1 April 2023
  • end by 31 March 2026
  • last between 6 and 24 months
  • intend to use the results to help deliver clean energy access in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, or the Indo-Pacific
  • 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 region, this could include in-country offices
  • include a UK registered administrative lead
  • if you are an international organisation, partner with a UK administrative lead
  • involve at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) from anywhere in the world

Your project can also involve organisations 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 entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian source.

If your total project’s costs or duration falls outside of our eligibility criteria, you must provide justification by email to support@iuk.ukri.org at least 10 working days before the competition closes. We will decide whether to approve your request. If you have not requested approval or your application has not been approved by us, you will be made ineligible. Your application will then not be sent for assessment.

Lead organisation

There are two types of leads in energy catalyst, an administrative lead, who will start 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 when there is an international partner in the consortium. 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:

  • be registered in the UK
  • claim grant funding through this competition

A technology lead will lead on the development of the scope, work packages within the project and other work from a technical perspective.

The technology lead:

  • can be from anywhere in the world
  • must claim grant funding through this competition
  • must be a business of any size

UK registered organisations can be both the administrative and technical lead if the criteria is met for both types of leads.

Project team

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following:

  • business of any size
  • academic institution
  • charity
  • not for profit
  • non-governmental organisation (NGO)
  • research and technology organisation (RTO)

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 region, this could include in-country offices

We strongly encourage the inclusion of international partners (business or other), where relevant to the project.

Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once accepted, partners will be asked to login or to create an account and enter their own project costs into the Innovation Funding Service.

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.

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding. Their costs will count towards the total project costs.

Subcontractors

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the world and you must select them through your usual procurement process.

All subcontractor costs must be justified and appropriate to the total project costs.

Number of applications

All eligible organisations can lead or collaborate on any number of applications.

Previous applications

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.

We will not award you funding if you have:

Subsidy control (and State aid where applicable)

This competition provides funding in line with the UK's international obligations and commitments to Subsidy Control. Further information about the UK Subsidy Control requirements can be found within the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation agreement and the subsequent guidance from the department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Additional information can be found about the rules governed by the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Innovate UK is unable to award organisations that are considered to be in financial difficulty. We will conduct financial viability and eligibility tests to confirm this is not the case following the application stage.

EU State aid rules now only apply in limited circumstances. Please see our general guidance to check if these rules apply to your organisation.


Further Information

If you are unsure about your obligations under the UK Subsidy Control regime, World Trade Organisation rules or the State aid rules, you should take independent legal advice. We are unable to advise on individual eligibility or legal obligations.

You must at all times make sure that the funding awarded to you is compliant with all current Subsidy Control legislation applicable in the United Kingdom.
This aims to regulate any advantage granted by a public sector body which threatens to, or actually distorts competition in the United Kingdom or any other country or countries.

If there are any changes to the above requirements that mean we need to change the terms of this competition, we will tell you as soon as possible.

Funding

Up to £20 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

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 Mid Stage industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium sized organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation

For more information on company sizes, please refer to the company accounts guidance. This is a change from the EU definition unless you are applying under State aid.

If you are applying for an award funded under State aid Regulations, the definitions are set out in the European Commission Recommendation of 6 May 2003.

Official development assistance budget

You must be able to demonstrate that there is a clear economic and social benefit to one or more of the targeted countries. This is because the funding forms part of the UK government’s official development assistance budget (ODA).

If projects are judged to be non-compliant with ODA, Innovate UK will not submit the application for assessment.

Capital expenditure

Expenditure on capital is eligible for funding. All materials must be directly related to and essential to the goals of the project.

Energy Catalyst is funded by the official development assistant (ODA) budget. 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:

  • the asset will be put to a good developmental purpose
  • the recipient has adequate resources to maintain and operate the asset, including purchase of any consumables
  • the item will not be sold or disposed of, or diverted for another purpose, within a 12 month period of the end of your project
  • the recipient has adequate controls in place to ensure that the assets are used as intended
  • any local requirements, regarding duties and taxes, or any other formalities, on transfer will be met
  • IT Equipment is disposed of in line with EU Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations and all personal data will be removed

This evidence should take the form of an end of life plan. If you are successful in being awarded funding, our project finance team will ask for this evidence to sign off your finances as part of project set up.

Research participation

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:

Energy Catalyst Accelerator Programme (ECAP): Minimal Financial Assistance

The technical 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:

You do not need to include aid or subsidies which have been granted on a different basis (such as an aid award granted under the General Block Exemption Regulation).

Further information about the UK subsidy control requirements can be found in:

EU Commission rules now only apply in limited circumstances. Please see our general guidance to check if these rules apply to your organisation.

Your proposal

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 extend the benefits of clean energy to all to meet sustainable development goals (SDGs) 7 'Affordable and clean energy' and 13 'Climate action'.

To be in scope for Energy Catalyst round 9, your project must address all three of the following areas:

1. Energy access

Improving energy access in official development assistance (ODA) eligible countries in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia or the Indo-Pacific region.

Your project must aim to speed up access to affordable, clean energy services for poor households, enterprises and social institutions in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia or the Indo-Pacific region. 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:

  • creating new energy access in unserved regions
  • improving existing access to provide a more reliable service

Your project must target one or more of the following eligible countries.

Sub-Saharan Africa:

  • Angola
  • Benin
  • Botswana
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cabo Verde
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Comoros
  • Congo
  • Côte d'Ivoire
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Djibouti
  • Eritrea
  • Eswatini (Swaziland)
  • Ethiopia
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Rwanda
  • Sao Tome and Principe (may be ineligible from 13 December 2024)
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Tanzania
  • Togo
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

South Asia:

  • Afghanistan
  • Bangladesh
  • India (only as part of multi country projects)
  • Maldives
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka

Indo-Pacific (ODA eligible ASEAN):

  • Cambodia
  • Indonesia
  • Laos
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar
  • Philippines
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste (not officially part of ASEAN)
  • Vietnam

Indo-Pacific (Pacific Islands):

  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Fiji
  • Kiribati
  • Marshall islands
  • Papua New Guinea (PNG)
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu

2. Clean Energy

Your technology or business model must create clean energy which is:

1. Affordable.

2. Reliable.

3. Low carbon.

3. Gender equality and social inclusion (GESI)

Your application must take into account gender equality and social inclusion issues. You must demonstrate all of the following in your response and logic model:

  • identify the main beneficiaries
  • describe how you will mitigate any negative effects
  • provide a plan of how to address both gender and social inclusion during the life of your project
  • explain how your project will encourage equality

Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) funding

FCDO is providing up to £10 million of funding in this competition. Although FCDO is willing to consider funding any technology which meets the above criteria, including solution integrations across multiple technology areas, they are prioritising projects focused in the following Ayrton Challenge areas:

  • next generation solar technologies and business models
  • smart green grids, including mini and main grid related technologies
  • energy storage, including batteries and mechanical storage
  • low carbon hydrogen
  • modern cooking
  • low energy inclusive appliances
  • leave no one behind, specifically technologies and business models
  • targeting poor or marginalised groups or fragile contexts
  • sustainable cooling

Portfolio approach

We reserve the right to use a portfolio approach to fund a variety of projects across the strands of the competition, different technologies, markets, technological maturities, geographic regions and research categories. We call this a portfolio approach.

This is to make sure that the strategic criteria for the competition brief is met by successful projects considered to be above the quality threshold. This will be as a result of independent expert assessment.

Research categories

We will fund industrial research projects, as defined in the guidance on categories of research.

Projects we will not fund

We are not funding projects that are:

  • innovations unlikely to contribute significantly to energy affordability, security and reduced carbon emissions
  • innovations that do not improve energy access in either sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia or the Indo-Pacific region
  • not addressing clean energy requirements
  • not Official Development Assistance (ODA) compliant
  • not taking into account or do not plan to manage gender equality and social inclusion issues
  • dependent on export performance
  • dependent on domestic inputs usage

11 May 2022
Glasgow Brokerage session: register to attend
14 May 2022
Brokerage visit to Rwanda starts
18 May 2022
Competition opens
25 May 2022
Online briefing event: register to attend
25 June 2022
Brokerage visit to Malawi starts
9 July 2022
Brokerage visit to Indonesia starts
10 August 2022 11:00am
Competition closes
21 October 2022
Applicants notified

Before you start

You must read the guidance on applying for a competition on the Innovation Funding Service before you start.

The UK administrative lead is responsible for the following:

  • starting the application on the Innovation Funding Service (IFS)
  • collecting the information for the application
  • submitting the finished application
  • representing the consortium if your application is successful

What we ask you

The application is split into 3 sections:

  1. Project details.
  2. Application questions.
  3. Finances.

1. Project details

This section provides background for the assessors and is not scored.

Application team

Decide which organisations will work with you on the project. Invite people from those organisations to help complete the application.

Application details

The administrative lead applicant must complete this section. Give your project’s title, start date and duration.

Subsidy basis

Will the project, including any related activities you want Innovate UK to fund, affect trade between Northern Ireland and the EU?

You and all your project partners must respond and mark this question as complete, before you can submit your application.

Research category

Select the type of research you will undertake.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We collect and report on equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) data to address under-representation in business innovation and ensure equality, diversity and inclusion across all our activities.

All participants must complete this EDI survey and the lead applicant must then select yes in the application question. The survey will ask you questions on your gender, age, ethnicity and disability status. You will always have the option to ‘prefer not to say’ if you do not feel comfortable sharing this information.

Project summary

Describe your project briefly and be clear about what makes it innovative. We use this section to assign the right experts to assess your application.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Public description

Describe your project in detail and in a way that you are happy to see published. Do not include any commercially sensitive information. If we award your project funding, we will publish this description. This could happen before you start your project.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Scope

Describe how your project fits the scope of improving energy access which is affordable, reliable and low carbon.

You do not need to include information of GESI and ODA compliance as these will be assessed in Gateway Questions and in the application questions.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

2. Application questions

The assessors will score your answers apart from questions 1 to 8. You will receive feedback for each scored question. Find out more about how our assessors assess.

You must answer all questions. Do not include any website addresses (URLs) in your answers.

Questions 4 to 8 although not scored, provide background for the assessors to make sure your project is eligible and complies with Official Development Assistance (ODA), gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) and the competition scope.

These questions will be scored on a pass or fail basis.

If your project does not pass all these criteria, it will not be sent for a full assessment. We will tell you the reason why.

Question 1. Applicant location (not scored)

You must state the name and full registered address of your organisation and any partners working on the project. We are collecting this information to understand the geographical location of all applicants.

Your answer can be up to 200 words long.

Question 2. Technology lead (not scored)

You must state who the technology lead of the project will be.

A technology lead will lead on the development of the scope, work packages within the project and other work from a technical perspective. They can be from anywhere in the world. If they are registered in the UK, they can be the same organisation as the administrative lead.

Your answer can be up to 50 words long.

Question 3. Previous Energy Catalyst Project (not scored)

If your project is a direct follow on from a previously funded energy catalyst project, you must provide the Innovate UK project number.

If your project has not been previously funded, you must enter ‘None’ as your answer to this question.

Your answer can be up to 50 words long.

Question 4. Eligibility: Target Country (not scored)

Which ODA eligible country is the main target of your project?

Your answer can be up to 20 words long.

Question 5. Eligibility: Technology area (not scored)

Please confirm which primary technology area your project falls into:

  • next generation solar technologies and business models
  • smart green grids, including mini and main grid related technologies
  • energy storage, including batteries and mechanical storage
  • low carbon hydrogen
  • modern cooking
  • low energy inclusive appliances
  • leave no one behind, specifically technologies and business models
  • targeting poor or marginalised groups or fragile contexts
  • sustainable cooling
  • other in scope technologies (please specify)

Your answer can be up to 50 words long.

Question 6. Eligibility: In country entity (not scored)

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 region, this could include in country offices.

You must state which one of your partners is the in country entity and confirm their eligible office.

Your answer can be up to 200 words long.

Question 7. Eligibility: Official Development Assistance (ODA) (not scored)

To be eligible for Energy Catalyst grant funding, you must clearly explain and give evidence for why and how your project is in scope for Official Development Assistance (ODA).

Describe:

  • how your project will promote the social welfare and economic development of an eligible country for this competition, by addressing a development need in that country
  • the benefits to project partners and to those people outside the consortium in the developing country, particularly people in poverty and underserved groups, making a clear distinction between the two

You must:

  • be clear about what stakeholder groups in the developing country you expect to benefit from this project, avoid making generic statements
  • explain how the project will, or has the potential to, deliver outcomes and impact in terms of energy access to poor households, businesses and services in an eligible country, and over what timescale
  • give sufficient detail and data on how your project outputs are likely to create socio-economic impacts, whether they are positive or negative

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

You must download, complete and upload the ODA template as an appendix to support your answer. It can include an explanation of your rationale of the expected outputs and impacts and must include a basic logic model. It must be a PDF and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 8. Eligibility: Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (not scored)

How is your project helping to promote gender equality and social inclusion?

You must:

  • identify the main beneficiaries
  • describe how you will mitigate any negative effects
  • provide a plan of how to address both gender and social inclusion during the life of your project
  • explain how your project will encourage equality

Your answer is a mandatory requirement under the International Development (Gender Equality) Act, 2014. You can read further guidance on UKRI’s approach to the Gender Equality Act.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Question 9. Need or challenge

What is the business need, technological challenge or market opportunity behind your innovation?

Explain:

  • the main motivation for the project
  • the business need, technological challenge or market opportunity
  • whether you have identified any similar innovation and its current limitations, including those close to market or in development
  • any work you have already done to respond to this need, for example if the project focuses on developing an existing capability or building a new one
  • the wider economic, social, environmental, cultural or political challenges which are influential in creating the opportunity, such as incoming regulations, using our Horizons tool if appropriate

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Question 10. Approach and innovation

What approach will you take and where will the focus of the innovation be?

Explain:

  • how you will respond to the need, challenge or opportunity identified
  • how will you improve on the similar innovation that you have identified
  • whether the innovation will focus on existing technologies in new areas, the development of new technologies for existing areas or a totally disruptive approach
  • the freedom you have to operate
  • how this project fits with your current product, service lines or offerings
  • how it will make you more competitive
  • the nature of the outputs you expect from the project (for example report, demonstrator, know-how, new process, product or service design) and how these will help you to target the need, challenge or opportunity identified

You can submit one appendix to support your answer. It can include diagrams and charts. It must be a PDF, up to 2 A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Question 11. Team and resources

Who is in the project team and what are their roles?

Explain:

  • the roles, skills and experience of all members of the project team that are relevant to the approach you will be taking
  • the resources, equipment and facilities needed for the project and how you will access them, particularly in the light of any continuing COVID-19 restrictions
  • the details of any vital external parties, including subcontractors, who you will need to work with to successfully carry out the project
  • if your project is collaborative, the current relationships between project partners and how these will change as a result of the project
  • any roles you will need to recruit for, taking into account the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on the team structure

You can submit one appendix. This can include a short summary of the main people working on the project to support your answer. It must be a PDF, up to 4 A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Question 12. Market awareness

What does the market you are targeting look like?

Describe:

  • the target markets for the project outcomes, any other potential markets (domestic, international or both)
  • the size of the target markets for the project outcomes, backed up by references where available
  • the structure and dynamics of the target markets, including customer segmentation, together with predicted growth rates within clear timeframes
  • the target markets’ main supply or value chains and business models, and any barriers to entry that exist
  • the current UK position in targeting these markets
  • the size and main features of any other markets not already listed

If your project is highly innovative, where the market may be unexplored, describe or explain:

  • what the market’s size might be
  • how your project will try to explore the market’s potential

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Question 13. Outcomes and route to market

How are you going to grow your business and increase long term productivity as a result of the project?

Explain:

  • your current position in the markets and supply or value chains outlined, and whether you will be extending or establishing your market position
  • your target customers or end users, and the value to them, for example why they would use or buy your product
  • your route to market, particularly if COVID-19 has changed market dynamics
  • how you are going to profit from the innovation, including increased revenues or cost reduction
  • how the innovation will affect your productivity and growth, in both the short and the long term
  • how you will protect and exploit the outputs of the project, for example through know-how, patenting, designs or changes to your business model
  • your strategy for targeting the other markets you have identified during or after the project

If there is any research organisation activity in the project, describe:

  • your plans to spread the project’s research outputs over a reasonable timescale
  • how you expect to use the results generated from the project in further research activities

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Question 14. Wider impacts

What impact might this project have outside the project team?

Describe and, where possible, measure the economic benefits from the project such as productivity increases and import substitution, to:

  • external parties
  • customers
  • others in the supply chain
  • broader industry

Describe and, where possible, measure:

  • any expected impact on government priorities
  • any expected environmental impacts, either positive or negative
  • any expected regional impacts of the project

Describe any expected social impacts, either positive or negative on, for example:

  • lives impacted
  • jobs, such as safeguarding, creating, changing or displacing them
  • education
  • public empowerment
  • health and safety
  • regulations
  • joint ventures
  • CO2 avoidance

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Question 15. Project management

How will you manage your project effectively?

Explain:

  • the main work packages of your project, indicating the lead partner assigned to each and the total cost of each one
  • your approach to project management, identifying any major tools and mechanisms you will use to get a successful and innovative project outcome
  • the management reporting lines
  • your project plan in enough detail to identify any links or dependencies between work packages or milestones, taking into account the possible impact of further COVID-19 restrictions

You must submit a project plan or Gantt chart as an appendix to support your answer. It must be a PDF, up to 2 A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Question 16. Project Legacy

What will the effect of the project be on energy access in the target country beyond the lifetime of the project?

You are expected to consider how you will contribute to improving wider energy access in the target country, outside of technology development.

Describe where applicable the:

  • continued benefit to the target country in relation to the wider energy access agenda and delivery of sustainable development goals (SDGs) 7 'Affordable and clean energy' and 13 'Climate action'
  • connections and networks made through the project and consortium
  • skills development and training in country

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Question 17. Risks

What are the main risks for this project?

Explain:

  • the main risks and uncertainties of the project, including the technical, commercial, managerial and environmental risks
  • how you will mitigate these risks
  • any project inputs that are critical to completion, such as resources, expertise, and data sets
  • any output likely to be subject to regulatory requirements, certification, ethical issues and so on, and how you will manage this

You must submit a risk register as an appendix to support your answer. It must be a PDF, up to 2 A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 18. Added value

How will this public funding help you to accelerate or enhance your approach to developing your project towards commercialisation? What impact would this award have on the organisations involved?

Explain:

  • what advantages would public funding offer your project, for example, appeal to investors, more partners, reduced risk or a faster route to market (this list is not exhaustive)
  • the likely impact of the project outcomes on the organisations involved
  • what other routes of investment have you already approached
  • what your project would look like without public funding
  • how this project would change the R&D activities of all the organisations involved

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Question 19. Costs and value for money

How much will the project cost and how does it represent value for money for the team and the taxpayer?

In terms of your project goals, explain:

  • your total project costs
  • the grant you are requesting
  • how each partner will finance their contributions to your project
  • how this project represents value for money for you and the taxpayer
  • how it compares to what you would spend your money on otherwise
  • the balance of costs and grant across the project partners
  • any subcontractor costs and why they are critical to your project

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

3. Finances

Each organisation in your project must complete their own project costs, organisation details and funding details in the application. UK Academic institutions must complete and upload a Je-S form.

For full details on what costs you can claim see our Energy Catalyst project costs guidance.

Background and further information

Up to £20 million will be invested by The Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO), as part of the Transforming Energy Access (TEA) Programme, and Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF). Both contributions are counted as part of the UK’s Ayrton Fund commitment.

The Energy Catalyst’s mission is to accelerate the innovation needed to end energy poverty. By providing financial and advisory support to innovators we help create strategic partnerships, uncover insights and develop business models to improve lives in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia or the Indo-Pacific regions .

Monitoring

Your project manager, and others as may be agreed from time to time, will meet with your monitoring officer (MO) once a calendar quarter (or agreed period) to review your written report for the period since the last monitoring meeting. You should deliver this report to your MO no later than 14 days before the scheduled monitoring meeting. Overseas partners are required to dial into these meetings every quarter.

Additional reporting is required to comply with FCDO’s and BEIS’s request surrounding key performance indicators (KPIs) and data capture for impact analysis. Your MO will discuss the extra requirements at your initial meeting and a plan will be put in place to capture this information quarterly.

The project will also be required to complete a survey 1 to 2 times a year to support annual reporting. Quarterly claims are not approved until reporting is completed to a satisfactory level.

Your obligations: Energy Catalyst Accelerator

All successful projects will be enrolled onto Innovate UK’s Energy Catalyst Accelerator. The technical lead on each project, and where relevant their project partners, will need to engage with this accelerator. Accelerator support aims to improve the likelihood of successfully commercialising these innovative solutions for clean energy access in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and South East Asia.

The Energy Catalyst Accelerator one to one support for this programme will be provided through MFA. Companies in receipt of this support will be required to provide a MFA declaration before receiving this support.

Payment of grant

If a project has an international partner then all partners will receive their grants through a hub and spoke model. This means grant payments to partners are paid through the administrative lead organisation.

Business support is offered to projects where available through the Energy Catalyst Accelerator and will be fulfilled under MFA. Projects can opt out if they have already reached their MFA limit.

Financial support for the project forms part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment. This is monitored by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Extra help

To support the requirement of collaborative applications and the understanding of energy access in a variety of countries, Innovate UK is hosting an Energy Catalyst b2Match platform. This platform is free to access. Registration is available now, with country specific webinars and one to one brokerage sessions available. Full details are provided on the platform.

If you want help to find a project partner, contact the Innovate UK KTN.

Data sharing

This competition is jointly operated by Innovate UK, Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) and Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) (each an “agency”).

Your submitted application and any other information you provide at the application stage can be submitted to each agency on an individual basis for its storage, processing and use Any relevant information produced during the application process concerning your application can be shared by one agency with the other, for its individual storage, processing and use.

This means that any information given to or generated by Innovate UK in respect of your application may be passed on to FCDO and BEIS and vice versa.

Innovate UK, FCDO and BEIS are directly accountable to you for their holding and processing of your information, including any personal data and confidential information. Data is held in accordance with their own policies Accordingly, Innovate UK, FCDO and BEIS will be data controllers for personal data submitted during the application.

Innovate UK complies with the requirements of GDPR, and is committed to upholding the data protection principles, and protecting your information The Information Commissioner’s Office also has a useful guide for organisations, which outlines the data protection principles.

Support for SMEs from Innovate UK EDGE

If you receive an award and are a UK business, you will be contacted about working with an innovation and growth specialist at Innovate UK EDGE. This service forms part of our funded offer to you.

These specialists focus on growing innovative businesses and ensuring that projects contribute to their growth. Working one-to-one, they can help you to identify your best strategy and harness world-class resources to grow and achieve scale.

We encourage you to engage with Innovate UK EDGE, delivered by a knowledgeable and objective specialist near you.

Contact us

If you need more information about how to apply or you want to submit your application in Welsh, email support@iuk.ukri.org or call 0300 321 4357. Our phone lines are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

Innovate UK is committed to making support for applicants accessible to everyone.

We can provide help for applicants who face barriers when making an application. This might be as a result of a disability, neurodiversity or anything else that makes it difficult to use our services. We can also give help and make other reasonable adjustments for you if your application is successful.
If you think you need more support, it is important that you contact our Customer Support Service as early as possible during your application process. You should aim to contact us no later than 10 working days before the competition closing date.

Need help with this service? Contact us