Energy Catalyst

The Energy Catalyst programme is a recurring programme to support highly innovative, market-focused solutions that aim to address the global need for clean, affordable and secure energy. The competition is open to any UK organisation and may also include international partners. The programme covers early stage research (technical feasibility studies) through to industrial research and piloting. Projects can last up to 3 years, with total costs ranging from £50,000 to £5 million depending on the research maturity. Round 8 for clean energy access is open now. Deadline 16 September 2020.  Interested? Feel free to contact us.

Goal of the programme

To support the development and demonstration of innovative solutions for clean, affordable and secure energy access in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia or South East Asia. 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
  • unlocking underserved market segments that existing solutions are not reaching at scale, such as rural areas, frontier markets or specific energy end-users

All projects must also address:

  1. Energy access
  2. The energy ‘trilemma’
  3. Gender equality and social inclusion

Grant categories and eligibility

Three categories of grant are available:

1. Early-Stage Award: Feasibility

These projects will explore and evaluate the technical potential of an early-stage idea or concept through technical feasibility studies (including, for example, pre-industrial research at a small scale).

Key features are:

  • single-stage application process
  • projects must be led by UK based organisations, either an SME (acting either individually or collaboratively) or by a research organisation (collaborating with business)
  • collaborators can be form anywhere in the world and the inclusion of international partners is encouraged, where relevant
  • duration: up to 12 months
  • total project costs: up to £300k
  • total research partner costs: must not exceed 50% of the total project costs
  • business partner funding: up to 70% of their total project costs for SMEs or 50% for larger companies.

2. Mid-stage awards: Industrial Research

These projects will take innovative ideas forward through the technology development stage by conducting industrial research and development (including, for example, laboratory studies, testing, verification and evaluation in simulated environments).

Key features are:

  • single stage application process
  • projects must be collaborative including at least one SME from anywhere in the world and UK-led
  • duration: up to 24 months
  • total project costs: up to £1.5m
  • total research partner costs: must not exceed 30% of the total project costs
  • business partner funding: up to 70% of their total project costs for SMEs or 50% for larger companies.

3. Late-stage awards: Experimental Development

These projects will demonstrate and evaluate the capability and performance of innovative technologies through pre-commercial technology validation (including, for example, prototype and pilot testing including field trials in realistic operating environments).

Key features are:

  • single stage application process
  • projects must be collaborative and UK-led
  • duration: up to 36 months
  • total project costs: up to £5m
  • total research partner costs: must not exceed 30% of the total project costs
  • business partner funding: up to 45% for SMEs or 25% for larger companies

Need help?

Our experts would be glad to make time for an informal chat. They can help you write a successful proposal. Feel free to contact us.