UK Department for International Development: Competition 'Agri-Tech Catalyst for Developing Countries'

1. Dates and deadlines

Competition opens 11 July 2016
Briefing events for potential applicants 1 August 2016 (webinar)
14 September 2016 (consortia building)
Registration deadlines EOI stage (industrial research awards only) - noon on 26 Oct 2016
full stage (early and late-stage awards) - noon on 25 Jan 2017
Application deadlines EOI stage (industrial research awards only) - noon on 2 Nov 2016
full stage (all award categories) - noon on 1 Feb 2017

2. The competition scope

The aim of this competition is to increase the pace and scale of uptake of agricultural innovation by farmers in developing countries.

Agricultural innovation in developing countries, particularly Africa, is low. For example, the share of cultivatable land planted with modern crop varieties in Africa is only 28%. This compares with 65% globally. Most of the poorest people in Africa (75%) live in rural areas. They rely on agriculture and livestock for their livelihoods.

The Agri-Tech Catalyst will take innovative ideas from any sector or discipline. Ideas must show the potential to improve the sustainable intensification of agriculture. The scope of the Catalyst includes:

  • primary crop and livestock production including aquaculture
  • non-food uses of crops including ornamentals
  • food security and nutrition challenges in international development
  • addressing challenges in downstream food processing, provided the solution lies in primary production

The following areas are priorities for DFID funding in Round 6:

  • integrating smallholders into supply chains
  • meeting quality standards and improving productivity
  • creating new supply chains
  • increasing the value of production to smallholders
  • improving access to appropriate innovation in developing countries
  • innovation that increases rural income through improved processing / storage
  • control of crop pests, weeds and diseases

3. Projects that won’t be funded

This competition will not fund forestry, wild capture fisheries and equine-related proposals.

4. Find out if you are eligible to apply

To lead a project you must:

  • be a UK-based business (or research-base partner for early-stage technical feasibility studies only)
  • be a business of any size
  • carry out your project with the aim of improving developing country agriculture
  • work in collaboration with others (businesses, research base and/or third sector)
  • include at least one consortium member from an eligible developing country - see the competition guidance for details.

5. Funding and project details

The UK Department for International Development has allocated up to £4 million to fund innovation projects in this competition.

5.1 Project types

Your project may focus on one of the following:

  • early-stage technical feasibility
  • industrial research
  • late-stage experimental development

This will depend on the challenge and maturity of the technology or the approach you take.

For technical feasibility studies and industrial research, you could get up to:

  • 70% of your eligible project costs if you are a micro or small business
  • 60% if you are a medium-sized business
  • 50% if you are a large business

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get up to:

  • 45% of your eligible project costs if you are a micro or small business
  • 35% if you are a medium-sized business
  • 25% if you are a large business

Find out if your business fits the EU definition of an SME.

Projects are expected to last up to:

  • 18 months for early-stage technical feasibility
  • 3 years for industrial research awards
  • 18 months for late-stage experimental development

Projects are expected to range in size depending on the award category. Total project costs could be:

  • £150,000 to £400,000 for early-stage technical feasibility studies
  • up to £1.5 million for industrial research
  • up to £800,000 for late-stage experimental development

6. How to apply

To apply:

Late submissions will not be accepted. Your application is confidential.

As there are 3 streams to this competition, please make sure you read the correct guidance for applicants for the stream you want to apply into.

Read the general Guidance for Applicants before you apply. It will help your chances of submitting a successful application.

Source and further information: UK Department for International Development