Energy Catalyst Round 8: Clean Energy Access – Industrial Research

Clean Energy Access
Last date: 
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
United Kingdom

Detailed Description

Applicants are now invited to submit applications for the Energy Catalyst round 8: clean energy access – industrial research competition. The aim of this competition is to support highly innovative, market-focused energy solutions in any technology or sector.

Your 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.


The Energy Catalyst Programme is open to any energy technology from any sector. However, to be in scope for round 8 your project must address the following 3 subjects:

Energy access

  • 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 South East Asia. It must do this by supporting the development, testing and/or scale up of innovative technologies and business models.

The energy ‘trilemma’

Your proposal must tackle all 3 areas of the energy ‘trilemma’:

  • be clean
  • be affordable
  • enable security of supply and energy access

Gender and social inclusion

Your application must take into account gender equality and social inclusion issues. You must demonstrate 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

Specific Themes

Your project could focus on, for example:

  • making new solutions more affordable
  • integrating technologies in new systems or business models to help unlock finance and deployment
  • developing technologies or partnership business models that address other barriers to deployment, such as skills required to develop or maintain technologies

Funding Information

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

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for funding you can be from any country. If you are an international organisation, you need to partner with a UK administrative lead and must be one of the following types of organisation:

  • business
  • research technology organisation (RTO)
  • academic organisation
  • charity
  • public sector organisation
  • International organisations must partner with a UK registeredadministrative lead. If you are a UK SME, you can apply on your own.
  • Your project must involve a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME), from anywhere in the world, either as a technical lead or consortium member.

State aid

  • Any UK registered business claiming funding must be eligible to receive state aid at the time we confirm you will be awarded funding. It is not possible to award grant funding to organisations meeting the condition known as undertakings in difficulty. However, if you are unsure please take legal advice. For further information see our general guidance on state aid.

Your project

Your project must:

  • have total eligible costs between £50,000 and £1.5 million
  • start by 1 April 2021
  • end by 31 March 2023
  • last between 12 and 24 months
  • must intend to use the results to help deliver clean energy access in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and/or South East Asia
  • must involve at least one partner with a legal entity in one of the focus countries in Africa, South Asia or South East Asia – this could include in-country offices
  • must include a UK registered administrative lead
  • must involve at least one small or medium-sized enterprise (SME), from anywhere in the world

Lead applicants

The administrative lead:

  • must be a UK registered business of any size
  • will be the recipient of the award and will distribute funding to the international partners (known as a ‘hub and spoke’ model)
  • will manage and be accountable for the finances of the project in accordance with the terms and conditions of the award
  • must claim grant funding through this competition

The technical lead:

  • can be from anywhere in the world
  • will lead on the development of the scope, work packages within the project and other work from a technical perspective
  • must be a business (of any size)
  • must claim grant funding through this competition
  • UK registered businesses of any size can be both the administrative and technical lead.
  • Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.


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