About the R&D Fund

The Efficiency for Access Research and Development Fund was launched in 2018 to help accelerate the development of appliance technologies for use in off-grid and weak-grid areas.

Efficiency for Access invests in research and development (R&D) projects with the aim to improve the availability, affordability, efficiency and performance of a range of low-energy inclusive appliances, particularly suited to developing country contexts.  It also aims to promote social inclusion.


The first open call in November 2018 required applicants to submit projects developing innovative off- and weak-grid appliance technologies or products with a strong potential to benefit end-users and promote social inclusion.

Efficiency for Access supported eight projects totalling over £1m in funding. Included in this call were six projects to develop cooking appliances that were awarded funding totalling approximately £750,000 received from the MECS programme.  For more details, take a look at our  Project Spotlights Report.


The second call in  June 2019 focused on cooling technologies and saw 13 organisations selected to receive funding to the value of £1.67 million from UK aid and the IKEA Foundation.

Efficiency for Access invited funding applications for R&D projects developing innovative appliance technologies or products focused on cooling for off- and weak-grid settings with a particular focus on fans, refrigeration and cold chain. Details of the winning projects can be found here


The Enabling Technologies call which launched in January 2020, was open to projects developing enabling technologies or products for off-grid and weak-grid areas, with a particular focus on inclusivity or interoperability.

The Efficiency for Access Research and Development Fund awarded 20 organisations a total of £2.9 million in funding for solar-powered appliance technology projects that will help to level the playing field whilst addressing the climate emergency. More information can be found here.


The latest Agritech open call will provide support to develop agricultural technologies such as post-harvest management including harvesting, handling, storage, processing, and transportation, and improvements to food systems in horticulture, dairy, fishing, and livestock.

The call will open on 13 November 2023 and close on 17 January 2024. Full application details can be found here.