GCRF demonstrate impact in developing countries: round 2, phase 1

Fund Name: GCRF: round 2, phase 1
Project Length: No more than 6 months
Project Value: £85k-£120k
Deadline: 10/06/2020


The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) will invest up to £9.3 million in prototype stage projects. The projects must have the potential to transform lives in developing countries, through appropriately designed innovation that responds to real market demand.

Fund details

This funding is split into 2 phases:

  • Discovery: enabling businesses to gain insights into local market feasibility for the innovation prior to prototyping.
  • Prototype phase: to test, validate and improve a prototype of the innovation in a developing country market.

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

Your phase 1 discovery project:

  • must include human-centred research and design to make sure your idea meets the needs of customers and users, and your prototype plans reflect realistic use cases
  • can include activities to ensure that your prototype will be technically feasible in the local context of a developing country
  • must determine how the innovation could be effectively prototyped in that country during phase 2

Your project’s maximum grant can be no more than £60,000 for phase 1 and your total eligible costs must be between £85,000 and £120,000. If you request more than the maximum grant award, your application will be ineligible.

The innovation must be ready to prototype in market but not yet launched in the target developing country. These are innovations which, before they can become commercially available, need further research and development to make sure they:

  • respond to real market demand, not just a perceived need
  • are affordable, appropriate and attractive from the perspective of users, customers and other stakeholders, in the developing country
  • are technically feasible in the developing country

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

The competition also aims to support those ideas that are:

  • likely to lead to the creation of markets
  • boost the related infrastructure and value chains attached to those markets
  • create jobs, all within the partner developing country
Phase 1 project outputs

By the end of phase 1, your project must:

  • produce a validation of demand for your innovative product, process or service in the developing country
  • identify all phase 2 project partners and their roles
  • identify other main stakeholders
  • outline the business case for the innovation in that country
  • outline the anticipated social and economic impact from your innovation

The technical project work can be led by an organisation from any country. The administrative work must be led by a business from the UK.

The administrative lead:

  • must be a UK registered business, of any size
  • will be the recipient of the award
  • will distribute any funding to the international (non-UK) partners
  • will manage and be accountable for the project’s finances in accordance with the terms and conditions of the award
  • must claim funding through this competition

The technical lead:

  • can be from any country
  • can be a business of any size, research organisation, public sector organisation, research and technology organisation or not for profit organisation
  • will lead on the development of the scope, work packages within the project and other work from a technical perspective
  • must claim funding through this competition
Get in touch

If you think that you might be eligible for this fund, please Get In Touch by filling out the contact form below.

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