GCRF demonstrate impact in meeting the sustainable development goals: phase 1 – Funding Opportunity

Funding Details

Registration opens
09 Sep 2019, 00:00
Registration closes
13 Nov 2019, 12:00
13 Nov 2019, 12:00
Your project’s total eligible costs for phase 1 can be between approximately £85,000 and £120,000 with a maximum grant award of up to £60,000.
Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF)



The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) will invest up to £9.3 million in demonstration-stage projects. The projects must have the potential to transform lives in developing countries, through market-creating innovation.

We will support projects that address one or more of the global societal challenges recognised in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the development of innovative processes, products and services. These projects should lead to the deployment of those innovations within developing countries.

This funding is split into 2 phases: phase 1 is for feasibility studies and phase 2 is for demonstrators.

This competition is to secure funding for phase 1 projects only. Only successful phase 1 applicants will be eligible to apply for the phase 2 demonstrators phase funding.

Your phase 1 feasibility project can include:

activities to make sure your idea, and the means to demonstrate it, are technically feasible, and/or
human-centred research and design to make sure your idea meets the needs of customers and users, and your demonstration plans reflect realistic use cases

Projects must start by April 2020, finish by September 2020 and last no more than 6 months. Your project’s total eligible costs for phase 1 can be between approximately £85,000 and £120,000 with a maximum grant award of up to £60,000.

If your project’s total eligible costs or duration fall outside of our eligibility criteria, you must provide justification by email to support@innovateuk.ukri.org at least 10 days before the competition closes. Innovate UK will decide whether to approve your request.

In phase 1 £1.8 million is allocated to fund feasibility studies. We plan to fund up to 30 feasibility study projects. Phase 2 will focus on demonstrators that have reached the industrial research or experimental development stages of R&D. We have allocated up to £7.5 million and expect to fund up to 15 projects (phase 2 is only open to successful phase 1 applicants).

We will support innovations which are pre-commercial in the partner developing country. These are innovations which, before they can become commercially available, need further research and development to make sure they:

  • are technically feasible, and
  • are affordable, appropriate and attractive from the perspective of users and other stakeholders, in the developing country

The innovation to be demonstrated must focus on addressing the needs of people in developing countries. These are people who are unable to afford or access existing commercially available solutions, or who lack the time or expertise to successfully use those solutions. Cultures, attitudes and other context specific factors may also present challenges and opportunities relevant to the successful adoption of innovation. Technology alone is only ever one part of a solution.

In your application, you will be asked to provide information on:

  • gender equality
  • social inclusion
  • how your innovation and your project may impact people differently
  • how you would mitigate any negative effects

Projects must show how the innovation is responding to a felt need, demand or gap in the market (a pull factor) rather than pushing pre-prepared, unwanted and untenable technology solutions. There must be equitable collaboration between project partners.

Your project must be relevant to one of the following 10 Sustainable Development Goals within an OECD DAC list recipient country (excluding Argentina, Antigua and Barbuda, Panama, Palau and the People’s Republic of China).

SDG 3: good health and well-being
SDG 4: quality education
SDG 6: clean water and sanitation
SDG 8: decent work and economic growth
SDG 11: sustainable cities and communities
SDG 12: responsible consumption and production
SDG 13: climate action
SDG 14: life below water
SDG 15: life on land
SDG 16: peace, justice and strong institutions

Applications must clearly detail which SDG they are focused on. You can have a maximum of 2. You must also state which of the targets under each SDG the project is relevant to in the developing country. Please be realistic in terms of which and how many SDG targets your project is focusing on and the impact it is expected to make. We welcome ambitious yet realistic applications.


Click here