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UK Energy Catalyst Round 8 – £20m for energy access innovation

The United Kingdom has announced through their Innovation Funding Service, the Energy Catalyst round 8: clean energy access, feasibility projects.

The competition allow organisations to apply for a share of up to £20 million to develop and demonstrate innovative solutions for clean, affordable and secure energy access in sub-Saharan Africa (as well as South Asia or South East Asia).

The aim of this competition is to support highly innovative, market-focused energy solutions in any technology or sector.

Project must encourage the development of products and services that help countries in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, South East Asia or multiple regions access secure, low cost and low carbon energy. They must be targeted at people, public services and local enterprises who are unable to afford or access existing solutions, or who lack the time or expertise to successfully use those solutions.

Proposals must also address all 3 elements of the energy ‘trilemma’:

  • cost
  • emissions
  • security of supply and energy access

There are 3 options to apply into this competition. These are referred to as strands and will be run in parallel. The strands are dependent on the stage the project is at:

  1. Early stage for feasibility studies (this strand).
  2. Mid-stage for industrial research.
  3. Late stage for experimental development.

This is the early stage competition for feasibility studies. It is the applicants responsibility to make sure to submit the application for the correct stage. Early stage project’s total eligible costs must be between £50,000 and £300,000 as part of a feasibility study.

The service is also due to launch its Agri-tech catalyst round 10: agriculture and food systems – early stage on July 20th 2020 with up to £2.5 million for UK registered organisations to work on agri-tech and food chain innovations in Africa.

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