The Innovation Fund, a US$1.2 million facility, is a component of Renewable Energy and Adaptation to Climate Technologies (REACT), that aims to catalyze the private sector to develop new or scale innovative and catalytic approaches to address the low access to affordable and efficient technologies.
Through the fund, technical and financial support will be provided to existing enterprises that are sufficiently developed to address affordability and accessibility of clean cooking, and productive use energy technologies.
The Fund will invest in technologies that meet market needs as well as accelerating the development of existing solutions to better serve African communities and not technologies in the prototype stage.
The Fund builds on AECF’s Renewable Energy and Adaptation to Climate Technologies (REACT) initiative, which was launched to support the private sector to develop and expand its clean energy technologies to Africa’s rural communities.
To support the private sector to commercialize existing innovative products and business models that are sufficiently developed to address affordability and accessibility of clean cooking, and productive use energy technologies.
To offer financial support tailored to the needs of eligible projects while attracting additional resources in matching funds.
Scalable supply chain models for providing clean cooking solutions (especially in rural areas). Acknowledging that supply chains for cleaner fuels lack the necessary scale to reach many rural communities, the fund seeks to support supply chain innovations that can e.g., address demand uncertainty by matching demand and supply (e.g., Uberisation of the supply chain).
Alternative clean cooking technologies (stoves and fuels) e.g., mini-grid and solar PV powered electric cooking.
Business models and technological innovations for Productive Use Energy (PUE) appliances such as milling, threshing, grating, specific value chains (poultry, dairy, and coffee) and commercial scale refrigeration etc
Solutions that narrow the energy access affordability gap for clean cooking and productive use e.g., sustainable consumer financing models that could bring Tier 3(indoor emissions/overall emissions) and above within reach of a larger share of the population.
Step 1: Qualification stage based on a detailed project proposal providing details on the innovations that will be used to select applications that meet the eligibility criteria and best fit the fund objectives. Successful applicants will proceed to the award stage.
Step 2: Award stage based on technical, organizational, and financial due diligence of the applicant.
To apply for support, please click on the “Apply” button and register on our secure online application platform. You will be expected to fill out an application form to determine your eligibility against the set criteria prescribed in the term sheet.
Guidelines for submitting:
Please complete all mandatory fields in order to complete the application process. Mandatory fields are marked with an asterisk (*).
You can save your progress and return to the application any time by clicking the 'Save Draft' button at the bottom of the form. The form autosaves your progress, however we recommend that you manually save your progress.
Remember to click the 'Submit' button at the end of the form. AECF can only access your application after you have submitted it. We will send you a confirmation e-mail once you have submitted your application.
The fund supports the testing of major innovative changes on products or services already existing in the market. It also supports innovations that have gone through a successful prototyping phase.
Does the fund support new developments?
The fund does not support development of new technologies.
Do NGOs qualify for funding?
Yes, as long as partnership with a private company is proven. However, the private company must have a direct interest in commercializing the innovation being tested and must be the lead applicant.
Does the fund support Solar Households Systems (SHS) innovations?
The fund only supports clean cooking and productive use solutions.
Are LPG cooking solutions eligible?
LPG solutions do not qualify. All cooking solutions must be non-fossil and renewable.
Is funding limited to the current AECF REACT SSA portfolio companies only?
Funding is accessible to both the current REACT SSA-funded companies and those not funded by AECF.
Is there any linkage between AECF’s REACT SSA programme and the Innovation Fund?
The Innovation Fund is expected to contribute to the overall REACT SSA objective of addressing the climate change challenge, by increasing access to clean energy in the target countries.
What is the total number of beneficiaries targeted by the Fund?
The maximum number is yet to be determined but at least 1,000 new customers are targeted to use the newly developed innovative products and services.
How many companies or projects will be funded?
The Innovation Fund will support approximately five projects or companies.
Do companies from all African countries qualify to participate?
Only companies registered and operating in seven of the countries where the REACT SSA programme is being implemented can qualify, that is, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.
Is there a time limit in the implementation period?
Output based activities supported through the Innovation Fund must be completed within 24 months from the time of contracting.
What is the maximum level of funding available?
Funding per company is between US$100,000 and US$200,000. However, applications testing innovations that deliberately target low-income, marginalized and / or vulnerable consumers can access up to US$300,000.
Will the funding cover 100% of the costs?
The innovation fund will only cover up to 70% of the total project cost. Co-financing of at least 30% of the project cost is expected.
Will funding be disbursed all at once?
This is a performance-based grant where funding will be disbursed in tranches according to achievement of mutually agreed milestones which must be achieved.
How will we find out if we have been successful?
The AECF Competition Team will contact all applicants and inform them of the outcome of the competition.