UK-Nigeria Sustainable Construction Innovation Lead Customer Programme

Innovate UK Global Alliance Africa project, is investing up to £120,000 for three UK-Nigeria collaborative pilot projects (x £40,000 per project) towards the adoption of sustainable construction practices in Nigeria.

Opportunity Details


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The Sustainable Construction Lead Customer Programme provides funding for up to three £40,000 projects to allow a combination of businesses from the UK and Nigeria to collaboratively develop and deploy technology – based solutions to address challenges within the sector.


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About the competition

Your project must focus on one or more of the following:

  • Affordable Housing
  • Sustainable Construction Materials
  • Construction Waste Management

Innovate UK Global Alliance Africa

Innovate UK exists to connect innovators with new partners and new opportunities beyond their existing thinking – accelerating ambitious ideas into real world solutions. Innovate UK is delivering the 6-year (2019 – 2025) UK International Development funded, Global Alliance Africa project, which aims to build new and stronger UK-African partnerships to maximise the creation of inclusive market access, funding, and investment opportunities through innovation knowledge transfer between the UK, Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya.

The project aligns with the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) objectives by building stronger local innovation ecosystems and enhanced UK-Africa collaborations that lead to self-sustaining economic growth in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa, by harnessing potential of innovation to meet current and future socio-economic-environmental challenges. The project is focused around three key pillars, one of which focuses on ‘Connected Innovation’ where Global Innovation Networks will be forged to facilitate UK, African and International networks to deliver collaborative research, innovation and funding solutions that address key global innovation challenges.

In Nigeria, one of the key sectors identified is Sustainable Construction due to its potential to generate economic opportunities, reduce costs, expand markets, and mitigate environmental impact. The country boasts contemporary architects and builders but there is a constant steady increase in the population leading to impending housing deficits and lack of accessibility to affordable homes. The construction supply chain in Nigeria also faces challenges that inhibit the sector from fully embracing sustainable practices. These challenges include a lack of effective construction and demolition waste management, limited research and know-how, and non-uniform standards. Recognising these issues, Global Alliance Africa, with its objective to align with the country’s innovation needs, has identified the opportunity to fund innovation aimed at enabling sustainable construction.

UK-Nigeria Sustainable Construction Innovation Lead Customer Programme Background

The building and construction industry in Nigeria is a significant sector of the economy, contributing to employment, infrastructure development, and economic growth. With the large and growing population, Nigeria has a massive infrastructure deficit with total infrastructure stock in the country amounting to about 30% of gross domestic product (GDP).

With the rise in technology and rapid urban development, the need for the adoption of sustainable construction practises in Nigeria has never been more vital. Traditional construction methods often result in high energy consumption, deforestation, and excessive waste putting a strain on the environment, depleting natural resources, and contributing significantly to pollution and carbon footprints.

Sustainability in construction is a critical issue for many countries around the world, including those in Africa and the United Kingdom. While these regions have different construction practices as well as affordable housing challenges, the overall goal is the same: to ensure a stable and sustainable ecosystem for the built environment and provide accessible and affordable housing for the population.

The UK-Nigeria Lead Customer Programme aims to address these challenges in both countries through a partnership model, thus accelerating innovations needed to create new or improved sustainable construction innovations and technologies for the sector and contributing towards the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11.

A Lead Customer is a Nigerian and/or UK construction supplier, company or top-tier end-user that shows support or commitment to the proposed innovations by presenting demonstrable deployment routes. The Lead Customer must provide a Letter of Endorsement with your application.

Funding Type and Project Size

Innovate UK will fund 70% of a total project value up to £40,000 per project. An in-kind contribution of 30% is required from the project partners. Higher in-kind contributions by project partners are encouraged to boost the scale of the projects, and will be viewed favourably in the selection process.

A project must involve at least one partner from the UK and one partner from Nigeria.

Rewards & Benefits

  • Technology Testing & Validation, 6-month project.
  • Technology Demonstration & Scale-up, 6-month project.
  • Access to international collaboration and innovation through UK-Nigeria partnership.
  • Support in facilitating industry engagement to seize future commercialisation opportunities and enhance market access.
  • Access to grant funding of up to £40,000 for the UK/Nigerian lead organisation per project (subject to T&C).
  • Sector expertise support from Innovate UK and Lead Country Partner.

Before you start:

Related Events and Recordings


Global Alliance Africa Lead Customer Programme Briefing Webinar

10.00 - 11.00 GMT+1 | Online

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Related programmes

Global Alliance Africa

Global Alliance Africa

This Innovate UK Global Alliance Africa 6-year (2019-2025) project funded by UK International Development aims to build new and stronger UK-African partnerships to maximise the creation of inclusive market access, funding and investment opportunities through innovation knowledge transfer between the UK, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.

Collaborative R&D Funding

Collaborative R&D Funding

Collaborative R&D activities will leverage funding, networks and expertise in order to facilitate UK-Africa R&D partnerships in key thematic areas of mutual interest.


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