Updated Sep 15, 2018

Energy Catalyst round 6: transforming energy access

Offered by Department for International Development as part of Transforming Energy Access

The aim of this competition is to support highly innovative, market-focused energy solutions in any technology or sector or international market. To be in scope for this round your project must meet the needs of people, businesses and services in Sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia.
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Open Year RoundDeadline
£50,000 - £3,000,000Amount
Criteria: StageAmount Per Prize
Stage 3£50,000 - £300,000
Stage 4 and 5£50,000 - £1,500,000
Stage 6£50,000 - £3,000,000

Mandatory Requirements

StageStage 3: Proof of Concept, Stage 4: Transition to Scale, Stage 5: Scaling and Stage 6: Sustained Scale
Implemented In:
CountryGhana, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Nigeria, Mozambique, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and South Africa
Focus AreasEnergy
Proposals must also address all 3 elements of the energy ‘trilemma’: cost, emissions, security of supply and energy access.

To be eligible for funding for any strand you must:
be a business, academic organisation, charity, public sector organisation or research and technology organisation (RTO)
apply as part of a collaboration with a UK organisation if you are based in Sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia
intend to exploit the results to help deliver clean energy access in Sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia
involve at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)

Other Requirements

Planned Usage of Funds
You can spend up to £10,000 of project costs per partner on business support. This must be from appropriately qualified and experienced advisers and will be awarded at the same funding rate as the rest of the grant.
The level of total research participation is set at a maximum of 30% of total eligible project costs (or up to 50% for early stage projects). If your consortium contains more than one research organisation, this maximum will be shared between them.
Early stage
To lead you must be a UK SME or RTO.
If you are a UK SME you can apply on your own.
Larger businesses and other organisations must work in collaboration with others (businesses, research base or third sector)

Mid and late stage
To lead you must be a UK business.
You must work in collaboration with others (businesses, research base or third sector).
Your project must involve some research and development, testing or demonstration work in Sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia. This can be done by either a UK or international partner.

International partners
International partners (business or other) are strongly encouraged, where relevant to the project. They will be funded, through the UK lead partner, on the same grant percentage terms as UK organisations.
The lead organisation must claim funding through this competition. If the project is collaborative, at least one other organisation in the consortium must also claim funding.
Please note that a ‘research organisation’ is any organisation receiving 100% funding or 80% full economic costing (FEC) funding.

In this competition, we are not funding:
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 or South Asia
projects that do not address all areas of the energy ‘trilemma’: cost, emissions and security of supply
projects that do not take into account and plan to manage gender equality and social inclusion issues.
bioenergy projects that only install or deploy large numbers of duplicate units or build large kilowatts of plant capacity

Application Directions

Please apply online

Application And Awards Process

Only use Microsoft Word for the application form. If your application cannot be read in Microsoft Word, it will be ineligible.

Competition Guidance can be found here
Apply on Funding Site