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Energy Catalyst, an Innovate UK programme, helps early- to late-stage innovators develop market-based technologies and business models that accelerate access to clean, modern and affordable energy in Africa, Asia and the Indo Pacific regions.


The Energy Catalyst programme is one of the UK’s biggest energy access focused grant funding initiatives. Funding is provided through the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO), as part of the Transforming Energy Access (TEA) Platform, and the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Both contributions are from the UK’s Ayrton Fund, part of the UK’s International Climate Finance commitment.

The overall aim of Energy Catalyst is to create a just and inclusive energy transition and extend the benefits of clean energy to all, with the aim of meeting Sustainable Development Goals 7 (Affordable and clean energy) and 13 (Climate action).

Innovate UK and Innovate UK KTN are hosting three events in the coming weeks, focusing on the Energy Catalyst programme: an online event on Wednesday 25th May, a hybrid event on Tuesday 7th June in London and a physical event on Thursday 9th June in Manchester. The London and Manchester events will incorporate networking and brokerage activity to facilitate consortium-building.


To be eligible for funding for mid and late stages, at least some of the research and development, testing or demonstration activities must be carried out in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Indo-Pacific regions. This can be done by either a UK or international partner.

More information is available on the Energy Catalyst website.


Proposals must also address each of the following dimensions of energy access:

  • Improving energy access in official development assistance (ODA) eligible countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Indo-Pacific regions
  • Have a technology or business model which is affordable, reliable and low carbon
  • Consider the role of gender equality and social inclusion (GESI)

Energy Catalyst offers three forms of funding. These are referred to as strands and run in parallel. Which strand an applicant applies for depends on the stage of development of the project:

  • Early stage for feasibility studies
  • Mid-stage for industrial research
  • Late stage for experimental development

To be eligible for funding you must be a UK or international:

  • Business
  • Research technology organisation (RTO)
  • Academic organisation
  • Charity
  • Public sector organisation
  • Non-governmental organisations (NGOs)

Online Partnering: Innovate UK EDGE is providing an online brokerage platform, b2match, to support potential applicants in finding partners for Energy Catalyst funding rounds. This is available to both UK and International organisations. B2match allows you to search for, message and meet online with potential partners to form a consortium to apply for funding.

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