Innovation Funds

About innovation funds

The SoLAR Innovation Fund (IF) aims to support the development and testing of technological, financial and institutional innovations to address the constraints and challenges of upscaling solar irrigation, with a special focus on the problems faced by small-scale, marginal, and women farmers in South Asia (specifically Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Pakistan). The IF will, in particular, aim to support innovations and practices that can influence policy or be expanded and integrated into regular government programs and practices with the support of additional funding sources. The objectives of the IF are as follows:

  • Support innovations that help to bridge the gaps that hamper the scaling out of solar irrigation pumps in South Asia.
  • Support innovations targeted at reducing barriers for sustainable adoption and use of solar irrigation pumps by small-scale, marginal, and women farmers.
  • Support innovations that encourage the sustainable use of groundwater resources when using solar-based irrigation.
  • Support innovations that enhance climate-resilient livelihood options for small-scale, marginal, and women farmers in the region.

Starting in 2020 and for the next 3 years, IWMI will administer a SoLAR Innovation Fund (IF) with a total value of CHF 400,000. Through this fund, the Institute will aim to support eight to ten innovations for the next 3 years. This is the first call for applications for IF grants. Four to five projects will be supported through this call. The next call for applications will be released in March 2021. The expected value of funding for each innovation will vary between CHF 30,000 and CHF 60,000 (converted to its equivalent USD value). The maximum duration of a project is 24 months.

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