SBRI: Zero Emission Generators (ZE-Gen) Demonstrator for ODA countries
Organisations can apply for a share of £2m inc VAT to develop renewable integrated replacements for fossil fuel generators in ODA countries.
Projects can range in size between £500,000 and £1 million, inclusive of VAT. SBRI competitions involve procurement of R&D services at a fair market value and are not subject to subsidy control criteria that typically apply to grant funding.
This Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition is part of the Zero Emission Generators (ZE-Gen) programme which aims to support renewable energy based alternatives to fossil fuel generators.
This competition is delivered by Innovate UK on behalf of the Department for Science Innovation and Technology (DSIT) and the Foreign Commonwealth and Development office (FCDO). The programme forms part of the Ayrton Fund and Transforming Energy Access (TEA) programmes.
The aim of the competition is to demonstrate the capability, applicability and scalability of integrated renewable alternatives to fossil fuel generators. This is a single-phase competition.
A similar funding call, but for earlier-stage projects, focuses on feasibility studies for zero-emission generators in Nigeria and the Philippines, with projects costing £50k-£150k: click here for details (closes 31 Jan 2024).
To lead a project, you can:
- be an organisation of any size
- work alone or with others from business, research organisations, research and technology organisations or the third sector as subcontractors
Organisations do not have to be registered in the UK to lead a project but must be a registered organisation. We will undertake viability and due diligence checks before awarding a contract.
- start on or after 1 April 2024
- end by 31 March 2025
- last between 6 to 12 months
- involve prototyping, demonstrating or field testing of your innovation in an eligible official development assistance (ODA) country in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, or the Indo-Pacific
- plan to be installed in an ODA eligible country for testing and validation within 6 months from the start of the project
- ensure the ODA eligible country is the primary beneficiary of the innovation
- be compliant with ODA funding
- provide access for external impact verification
Your application must have at least 50% of the contract value attributed directly and exclusively to R&D services, including solution exploration and design. R&D can also include prototyping and field-testing the product or service. This lets you incorporate the results of your exploration and design and demonstrate that you can produce in quantity to acceptable quality standards.
R&D does not include:
- commercial development activities such as quantity production
- supply to establish commercial viability or to recover R&D costs
- integration, customisation or incremental adaptations and improvements to existing products or processes
The aim of this competition is to demonstrate the capability, applicability and scalability of integrated renewable energy alternatives to fossil fuel generators.
This competition is part of the Zero Emissions Generators (ZE-Gen) programme which aims to advance renewable energy-based alternatives in countries that currently depend on fossil-fuelled generators.
In this competition, your project must:
- be an integrated technology capable of replacing one or more fossil fuel generators
- be safe, flexible and appropriate to multiple applications
- plan to be installed in an ODA eligible country for testing and validation within 6 months from the project start date
- be affordable, reliable and low carbon
- target commercial, domestic, public sector or humanitarian use cases where fossil fuel generators are the only source of electricity or used as back up for an unreliable grid
- charge using AC or DC renewable generation technologies or from the grid as a backup
- be capable of storing energy
- be scalable
- utilise local supply chains where possible
- adequately replace fossil fuel generators
- plan to manage the reuse and end-of-life processing of the replaced fossil-fuel generators
- propose an end-of-life plan for the renewable alternatives developed with this funding
Contracts will be given to successful applicants.
You must demonstrate a credible and practical route to market, so your application must include a plan to commercialise your results.
Your project must install your innovation in one or more of the following ODA eligible countries:
- Burkina Faso
- Cabo Verde
- Central African Republic
- Côte d’Ivoire
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Eswatini (Swaziland)
- Equatorial Guinea
- Sao Tome and Principe (may be ineligible from 13 December 2024)
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
- South Sudan
- India (only as part of multi country projects)
- Sri Lanka
Indo-Pacific (ODA eligible ASEAN):
- Timor-Leste (not officially part of ASEAN)
Indo-Pacific (Pacific Islands):
- Federated States of Micronesia
- Marshall islands
- Papua New Guinea (PNG)
- Solomon Islands (may be ineligible from 13 December 2027)
We will not fund projects that:
- are not original, not in scope and duplicate someone else’s work
- are covered by existing commercial agreements to deliver the proposed solutions
- will not contribute significantly to energy affordability, security and reduced carbon emissions
- do not address clean energy requirements
- are not Official Development Assistance (ODA) compliant
- do not take into account and plan to manage Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI)
- aim to improve fossil fuel generators
- use combustion technologies
- are inflexible and tailored to a specific use
- do not plan to manage the reuse and end-of-life processing of replaced fossil-fuelled generators
- do not propose an end-of-life plan for the renewable alternatives developed with this funding
- are large scale infrastructure projects, including industrial processes and utility scale solutions