Through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), Innovate UK will invest up to £9.3 million in innovation projects. The aim of this competition is to support demonstration-stage projects that have the potential to improve lives of people living in lower income countries and emerging economies. It will support projects that address one or more of the global societal challenges recognised as the UN Sustainable Development Goals through development of innovative, market-creating products and services. These projects should ultimately lead to the deployment of those products or services within those countries.
This is a two-phase competition. Phase 1 projects must explore the feasibility of running a demonstration project in phase 2 and applicants can use a human-centred design or technical feasibility approaches during this phase. A successful sub-set of phase 1 projects will be invited to apply for phase 2.
Funding has been allocated from the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), a £1.5 billion fund to support cutting-edge research which addresses the problems faced by developing countries. GCRF will address global challenges through disciplinary and interdisciplinary research and innovation, and will strengthen capability for research and innovation within both the UK and developing countries, also providing an agile response to emergencies where there is an urgent research need. GCRF forms part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment and will be awarded in a manner that fits with ODA guidelines.
This funding is part of UKRI’s Global Challenges Research Fund delivery under the commercialisation and innovation strand of activity. It is built on the premise that there are appropriate and affordable commercial solutions to key development challenges that could potentially be applied, but for various reasons including – businesses’ reluctancy to enter new markets due to financial risks, customers’ reluctancy to buy unproven technology, lack of appropriate connection and collaboration on R&D for new innovations, investors reluctant to take on both technology and new market risk – they are not yet in place.
This Demonstrate Impact programme aims to overcome some of those reasons and support new innovations to get to market quicker, so that:
As a primary outcome:
– Poor and disadvantaged people within developing countries access and benefit from innovative and affordable products and services developed and deployed from new business partnerships. These include:
– Direct benefits gained by consumers from the availability of a new product or service itself
– Benefits from creation of markets, the related infrastructure and value chains attached to those, and job creation within the partner developing country.
As a secondary outcome:
– Businesses are able to test the applicability of processes, products or services in new markets, find new R&D partners in developing countries and potentially new markets for their products and services.
Upcoming GCRF Demonstrate Impact Competition Briefing Events
The Demonstrate Impact Programme will deliver a series of events per competition round. Delegates will be invited to thematic information and briefing events (*** Energy and Agrifood are not included in the series of event themes ***) which will allow companies from the region itself, as well as companies with a particular interest in that region to attend.
The following events are now open. For more information, and to register, click on the links below: