The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), The Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands invite eligible organizations to respond to Water and Energy for Food: A Grand Challenge for Development (WE4F) Call for Innovations.
This Call for Innovations is designed to address barriers to enable the production of more food with efficient and sustainable usage of water and energy along the value chain from farming to end-user, to impact food security, gender and poverty reduction in an environmentally sustainable way.
- WE4F hopes to expand the scale of innovations that impact the sectors food and water, food and energy or all three sectors of the nexus (food, water, energy) to increase the sustainability of agricultural food value chains, improving energy and water efficiency as well as to improve climate resilient agriculture and sustainable management of natural resources and biodiversity in developing countries and emerging markets, with a particular focus on the poor and women.
- To achieve this goal, the effort must include partners from the private sector, NGOs, other research institutions, and other donors who share the common goal of increasing food production through sustainable water and energy usage. A key consideration of this effort is to ensure that feedback loops are created that integrate local conditions and new knowledge into both national and international policy and decision-making as well as to integrate capacity development, knowledge management and financial and non-financial instruments in a smart way to create an enabling environment in the partner countries.
WE4F aims to:
- Increase food production along the value chain through a more sustainable and efficient usage of water and/or energy;
- Increase income for base of the pyramid women and men in both rural and urban areas working in farming and/or consuming food products;
- Sustainably scale innovators’ solutions to meet the challenges in the WE4F nexus;
- Promote climate and environmental resilience and biodiversity through the sustainable, holistic management of natural resources and ecosystems.
The WE4F Founding Partners have identified priority thematic areas in which innovation is urgently needed as mentioned below. Innovations supported by Water and Energy for Food COULD INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO the themes mentioned below:
- THEME 1: Innovations in food production to reduce water usage o
- THEME 2: Efficient use of water resources for food production o
- THEME 3: Sustainable use of energy and water on farm
- THEME 4: Energy innovations for food processing & logistics
- THEME 5: Food production with efficient energy use
- THEME 6: Leveraging food/agriculture waste for energy
- The estimated ceiling for this first Call for Innovations is $4.5 Million USD from Water and Energy for Food. Subject to the availability of funds, the individual Award(s) of a cash grants will range from $25,000 to $300,000. Each awardee with receive 1-3 technical assistance and other type of none cash support. It is anticipated that 20-25 proposals will be funded.
In this call, the applicants should adhere to the following:
- Have a well-defined financial model and revenue traction.
- Address the water-energy-food nexus challenges.
- Understand the local enabling environment for technology and business innovations.
- Promote user-centered design, not technology for the sake of technology.
- Build sustainability into the fabric of the program.
- Innovations supported by this program must demonstrate direct or strong indirect benefits for the poor.
- Show how their innovation benefits women.
- Have a local presence and develop market-driven1 partnerships.
- Have strong financial systems and financial growth models/sustainability plans.
- Have a basic understanding of ESG issues and showcase strong commitment towards ESG integration into their business model.
- Have a gender balanced team which can scale up innovation in a sustainable manner.
Applicants must meet the following minimum requirements to participate in the third call for Water and Energy for Food:
- Type – Water and Energy for Food is open to the following types of organizations (e.g. for profit, not-for-profit with a financially sustainable business model).
- Size – Water and Energy for Food is open to all relevant organizations / companies regardless of size. We encourage applications from small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
- Location – Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, The Palestinian territories, Tunisia, Sudan, Yemen.
- Language- Applications responses must be written in English, French or Arabic.
- Matching funds – Awardees must secure matching funds;
- Local presence – All applicants must use the funds to implement the innovation in a developing or emerging country. In addition, applicants must either already have a presence in that country or must have a local partner (supporting documentation required).
- Impact – Innovations must have a direct linkage between water/energy and the food value chain. In addition, innovations must directly or indirectly benefit the poor (income, products, and opportunities). In addition, applications must contribute to gender equality; strive for a positive impact on the environment while avoiding negative environmental effects and local market distortions.
For more information, visit https://we4f.org/apply-mena