Innovation Fund 3rd Call for Projects April 8-June 30, 2024

Stichting Wageningen Research (SWR) Ethiopia is an international NGO registered in Ethiopia since March 2021 with the FDRE Agency for Civil Society Organizations. The organization is established with the objectives of promoting a more resilient, inclusive and sustainable food systems in Ethiopia. SWR Ethiopia currently implements four projects; Resilient Agriculture for Inclusive and Sustainable Ethiopian Food Systems (RAISE-FS), Ethiopia-Netherlands Seed Partnership (ENSP), REFOOTURE and OTIPAVA projects. Resilient Agriculture for Inclusive and Sustainable Food Systems is a project designed with the goal of creating evidence for practices that contribute to transformation of the food system by addressing leverage points in relation to productivity, enhanced value chain performance and improved human nutrition for improved food security while minimizing the impact on the environment and ensuring social inclusion. Among its interventions is, a component on promoting private sector driven innovation via a grant scheme called the “Innovation Fund” that offers funding.
                What is the Innovation Fund?           The creation of value is a defining characteristic of innovation. Producing the same product or offering the same service in another region in Ethiopia can be considered as innovation only if they can create measurable impact by contributing to food and nutritional security, reduce post-harvest loss, drive faster dissemination of proven sustainable agricultural production practices and innovative input supply system, create positive effect on women and youth empowerment, economic participation, and capacity development, tangibly support smallholder farmers and enhance export and import substitution. Bringing in an existing technology/product/service/practice to Ethiopia from another country is also an innovation (this would bring in some points during the evaluation) while offering a completely new product/service in Africa / world is an innovation (this would bring in the most points during the evaluation of the proposals). The objective of the Innovation Fund is to promote innovations in all agricultural subsectors/commodities (except dairy) in Ethiopia. The Innovation Fund will focus on innovations at all segments of the value chain (production, processing, and marketing). The Innovation Fund is managed by the Resilient Agriculture for Inclusive and Sustainable Ethiopian Food Systems (RAISE-FS). RAISE-FS is implemented by Stitching Wageningen Research Ethiopia and funded by the Dutch Government.
How is the Third Round of Call differing from the preceding two Calls All Agricultural Subsector/commodities (except dairy) are eligible for the fund in this round of call while selected few subsectors/commodities were considered in the previous two Calls. The dairy subsector is not eligible for the RAISE-FS innovation fund because there is another Dutch NGO which is fully committed to dairy developmentRelaxed requirements for project innovativeness: Projects that create measurable positive effect on food and nutrition security, post-harvest loss, export, import substitution, women and youth economic empowerment and smallholder farmers support can be considered for financing in this round of Call while only projects that offer new or improved products, services, technology, business models and/or service delivery models to Ethiopia were considered in the previous Calls.
What has the Innovation Fund to offer? The maximum amount of grant for Type A project is €50,000 per project while for Type B project it is €25,000 (please refer to section 2 of the Fund Manual for type of project/range of grants). Fund disbursement will be carried out by means of flexible payment plan, based on decision by the Approval Committee and cash flow needs of the project. Actively link applicant companies to other organizations (buyers, cooperatives, NGOs, research institutions, etc.)Inform applicant companies about latest technologies and developments via business platforms, personal meetings and Innovation Opportunity Reports
What conditions do Innovation Fund projects have to fulfil?
Who can submit projects to the Innovation Fund?
How much co-financing is expected from applicant companies or partnerships?
How does the Innovation Fund work? Call for Projects. Each Call for projects employs a two-stage submission process: Technical and financial capacity of the applicant to implement the project might be assessed via a company visit during first stage and second stage assessment.
What are the deadlines for underlying Call for Projects?
What are the Selection Criteria for assessing full proposals? : This is the degree to which the proposed project offers innovations to Ethiopia, is feasible for implementation in the Ethiopian context, is demand-driven, and provides input for easy and cost-effective replication at other locations.: A cost-benefit analysis indicating a roadmap towards profitability in the short to medium term (1-3 years). : The extent to which the applicant and possible partners are capable of undertaking and accomplishing the project.: The relationship between the requested grant and significance/quality of project outcomes, including justification for the need of using public funds to co-finance the project: The criterion assesses to what extent the proposed project is likely to have positive and sustainable impact on export, import substitution, food system improvement, direct and indirect employment opportunity, support to smallholder farmers, women and youth economic empowerment and climate adaptation. Please refer to the fund manual for detailed selection criteria
How can you submit a concept note for underlying Call for Projects? Please submit signed concept notes, including copy of business license (front & back pages), to [email protected] with Cc to [email protected] and  [email protected] Concept notes that are received after June 30, 2024, will not be taken into consideration for underlying Call for Projects.
Where can you find the Fund Manual and concept note form? Fund Manual and concept note form are available upon request by sending an email to [email protected] or can be downloaded from www.  
Who is your contact person?   If you have any additional questions after reading Call for Projects and Fund Manual, please feel free to contact Mr Shitaye Adugna at [email protected] or on +251 118 360313/+251 985 202766.

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