Energy Catalyst Rd 7: apply for funding for clean, affordable and secure energy in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia

Posted on: 20/05/2019

A new round of funding to support innovative, market-focused energy solutions in any sector

Up to £32m is to be invested in innovation projects that will help countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia access secure, low-cost and low-carbon energy.  Energy Catalyst Round 7 is part of part of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and Transforming Energy Access (TEA) Programme and the investment is from Innovate UK, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Department for International Development (DFID).

The aim of the competition is to support highly innovative, market-focused energy solutions in any technology or sector or international market.  Focusing on the needs of poor households, businesses and services in Sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia, projects must be targeted at people who are unable to afford or access existing solutions, or who lack the time or expertise to successfully use those solutions.

Energy Catalyst Round 7 is looking for projects that 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 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 as well as having a partner with a legal entity in Sub Saharan Africa or South Asia.



For more information, links to the application forms and important dates, click here.


BEIS energy storage (the following paragraph was inserted on 27 August 2019)

The UK government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is providing £10m of international climate finance (Official Development Assistance) to fund innovative energy storage projects that will lead to climate change mitigation and wider development benefits in developing countries. This funding is available to projects operating in any country on the OECD’s DAC list and is focused on technology innovation for energy storage. This funding has to be spent in the financial year of 2020 to 2021 so we are particularly encouraging 12 month projects able to start 1 April 2020.


More information about the programme is here.  If you have any questions about the Energy Catalyst programme, please contact

Share this article


Connect with Innovate UK Business Connect

Join Innovate UK Business Connect's mailing list to receive updates on funding opportunities, events and to access Innovate UK Business Connect's deep expertise. Please check your email to confirm your subscription and select your area(s) of interest.