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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. Eligibility This competition is open to collaborative applications only. To be eligible for funding you can be from any country, and must be a: business of any size research organisation research and technology organisation (RTO) charity non-governmental organisation (NGO) You must involve at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME). Opening soon Opens: 18 May 2022 Closes: 10 August 2022

Programme: Innovate Uk

Award:

Opens: 18 May 2022

Closes: 10 August 2022

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 'end energy poverty' 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.

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.

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