Solar E-Waste Challenge: A Program to Support Innovations in Off-grid Solar E-waste Management

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Deadline: 15 May 2019

The Global LEAP Solar E-Waste Challenge will make $1 million in grant funding available to companies with innovative approaches to e-waste management in the off-grid solar sector in sub-Saharan Africa, which includes solar lanterns, solar home systems (SHSs), and solar-powered appliances at their end-of-life.

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Grant funding is available for recycling and e-waste management companies who work with (or plan to work with) the off-grid solar sector operating across sub-Saharan Africa, other specialized e-waste service providers, and off-grid solar distributors who want to pilot or expand end-of-life operations.

The Challenge is an initiative of the Efficiency for Access Coalition supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of its commitment to the Scaling Off-Grid Energy (SOGE) Grand Challenge for Development.


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The specific objectives of the Challenge are to provide funding for pilot and early-stage projects that:

  • Fill critical information and data gaps on corporate end-of-life product management that will inform longer-term deployment of public funds to address solar e-waste at a systemic level.
  • Address key logistical challenges faced by solar distributors and service providers related to take-back and collection of solar e-waste.
  • Improve and strengthen operational processes at e-waste processing facilities to increase solar e-waste recycling capacity across sub-Saharan Africa.

Funding Information

The Challenge will allocate up to $1,000,000 to fund a portfolio of projects to be implemented over the course of one year that each address one or more of these objectives. Individual awards will range from $50,000-$200,000.

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Eligibility Criteria

  • Organizations
    • Participation in the Challenge is limited to the following types of organizations:
      • Recycling and e-waste management companies (“E-Waste Companies”) that serve the off-grid solar industry. This can include waste collectors, haulers, and processing facilities.
      • Off-grid solar companies (“Solar Companies”) with operations in sub-Saharan Africa. This can include any type of company that distributes solar products.
      • Other specialized service providers (“Service Companies”) with operations that are directly relevant to responsible solar e-waste management.
    • Collectively, E-Waste Companies, Solar Companies, and Service Companies participating in the Challenge are sometimes referred to hereinafter as “Participants.”
    • Joint proposals by two or more Participants are welcome. Participants may also submit proposals that include individual consultants, non-profit organizations, and industry associations as implementing partners. In all such instances, a single Participant must serve as the lead applicant.
  • Geography
    • All proposed activities must take place in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Use of Funds
  • Grants are intended to support the following:
    • Technical assistance: Support provided to Participants by external experts relevant to the planning, design, and implementation of e-waste management activities and operations.
    • Research and analysis: Staff time or consultants dedicated to desk and/or field research necessary for the planning, design, and implementation of e-waste management activities and operations.
    • Equipment purchases: Purchase of materials and equipment required to implement e-waste management activities. Note that this does not include purchase of commercial property, facilities, or vehicles.
    • Operational support: Staff time and other costs associated with general implementation of ewaste management activities. Note that this does not include direct subsidy of solar e-waste processing fees or subsidy of pre-existing operations.
  • Note that grants are intended to support the development and implementation of business models and operations that address the objectives listed in the Introduction above. This does not include R&D focused on battery technology. The Administrator, SOGE, and EforA anticipate that a future round of the Challenge will focus explicitly on this.

How to Apply

Proposals should be submitted online via the given website.

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  • Avatar Pauline Chiripanyanga says:

    How do I get your concept cover note page

    • Avatar Ritu at fundsforNGOs says:

      Hi Pauline Chiripanyanga,

      For more information regarding eligibility criteria, application process and more, please visit the link provided at the end of the post.

      Good Luck!

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