A share of up to £10m announced in a new competition for clean energy projects in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia

Posted on: 07/08/2018

A £10m competition has been launched to help countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia access secure, low-cost and low-carbon energy.

The Department for International Development (DFID) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) are launching a competition on 20 August to invest up to £10m in innovation projects to encourage technology that will help countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia access secure, low-cost and low-carbon energy.

KTN is running two briefing events and a webcast about this competition and interested organisations are invited to attend to find out more about the scope and the opportunities afforded by this funding.  Links to sign up are at the bottom of this article.

The aim of the 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.

Part of the funding is reserved for transformative bioenergy projects that help unlock lower-rated (between approximately 10kW and 5MW) productive-use bioenergy in Sub-Saharan Africa.  Proposals must also address all three elements of the energy ‘trilemma’:

  • cost
  • emissions
  • security of supply and energy access


There are three 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 your project is at:

  • early stage for feasibility studies
  • mid-stage for industrial research
  • late stage for experimental development


To be eligible for funding you must:

  • be a UK based 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 outside of the UK
  • intend to exploit the results to help deliver clean energy access in Sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia
  • involve at least one SME (Small or Medium-sized Enterprise)

To be eligible for funding for mid and late stage, at least some of the research and development, testing or demonstration activities must be carried out in Sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia. This can be done by either a UK or international partner.

For more information about the competition, click here.


KTN is running two events, one in Birmingham on 15 August (which has a webcast element for those unable to attend in person) and one in Manchester on 21 August.

Overseas participation – there is an opportunity for those based overseas to join remotely via Webex and pitch to the UK audience.

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