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 Indo-Pacific regions. 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.
Your proposal must focus on:
This competition is split into 3 strands:
It is your responsibility to ensure you submit your application to the correct strand for your project. You will not be able to transfer your application and it will not be sent for assessment if it is out of scope.
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.
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.
1. Energy access
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 project must target one or more of the following eligible countries:
Indo-Pacific (ODA eligible ASEAN):
Indo-Pacific (Pacific Islands):
While projects can focus on any ODA eligible country, we are particularly keen to receive projects which focus on the Indo-Pacific region.
2. Clean Energy
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.
If your project falls out of scope, you must provide justification by email to email@example.com 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.
We want to fund a variety of projects across the three stages of the competition, different technologies, markets, technological maturities, geographical 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.
We will fund industrial research projects as defined in the guidance on categories of research.
We are not funding:
We cannot fund projects that are: