New Agritech funding to accelerate clean energy innovation in the Global South

15 November 2023

A research and development innovation fund providing early-stage support launches today, making over £1m available to help develop and improve clean energy agricultural technologies and appliances for the world’s poorest people.

The Efficiency for Access Research and Development Fund, which was first launched in 2018, is inviting applications from organisations with innovative ideas for the Global South, specialising in the areas of post-harvest agriculture or food systems.

Smallholder farmers account for over eighty percent of farmers globally and are responsible for almost a third of total food production. In Sub-Saharan Africa, around 85% of smallholder farmers lack access to energy and are typically in areas where the environmental impacts of climate change are most strongly felt. In such circumstances, solar-powered technologies have proven to be life-changing.

The fund has previously shared over £5m across 38 individual projects in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia and enabled the development and scaling of solar-powered technologies and appliances such as mills, egg incubators, washing machines, and walk-in cold rooms.

The funding is being provided by UK aid via the Transforming Energy Access platform, and the IKEA Foundation, and managed by Energy Saving Trust.  The call will open on 15 November 2023 and close on 17 January 2024.

Rob MacIver, Energy Innovation Adviser, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said: “Over the past five years UK aid investment in clean energy for the Global South has continued to advance innovation and resulted in some remarkable success stories. We are confident the latest funding initiative will help us move nearer to energy equity for all.’

Jolanda van Ginkel, Programme Manager Renewable Energy, IKEA Foundation said: “Funding renewable energy innovation in agriculture has been transformative for communities and helped to alleviate many of the challenges faced by people living in areas without energy access. We are delighted to contribute to the Fund again and look forward to seeing how the new projects will develop and progress.’

To apply for funding, please visit https://efficiencyforaccess.org/rd-fund/agritech-call/

For more information contact:  Anita Smith, Marketing Communications Manager, Energy Saving Trust E: anita.smith@est.org.uk  M: +44 07772 206568