Energy Catalyst Round 8 Brokerage Visit to Nepal

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Kathmandu, tbc


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Nepal’s new Federal Constitution is creating higher, inclusive economic growth for the population of c. 31M.

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1.1bn people globally have no access to modern energy provision and a further 1bn have only intermittent access. Innovate UK’s Energy Catalyst programme aims to support businesses to develop innovative, sustainable energy technologies and business models to accelerate clean energy transition in developing and emerging economies.

A key focus is to address the clean energy access challenge in Sub-Saharan Africa and South/South East Asia. Energy Catalyst Round 8 will launch in June 2020 and is likely to follow similar scope and eligibility to Round 7 which had an early, mid and late stream. These brokerage visits form part of the collaboration-building to enable businesses to develop equitable partnerships between the UK and overseas organisations.

Energy Catalyst is currently funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and Department for International Development (DfID) as part of their Transforming Energy Access programme who have invested more than £60m.


The key objectives of the international brokerage trips are to help organisations applying for the Energy Catalyst Round 8 to gain an understanding of the energy access issues in Sub-Saharan Africa and South/South East Asia and find links to potential partners who would be interested in submitting an Energy Catalyst Application.

There are three key parts to the visit:

• Getting Ready: Pre-visit briefing to provide background information on the market and training on how to improve your business and technology pitch for in-country brokering. Hints and tips session on applying to Innovate UK.

• The Visit: Access to NGOs, local businesses, academics and governments who will be able to provide information about local opportunities. They may also become potential partners to apply into Energy Catalyst Round 8.

• Helping you make the best of the opportunity: Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) and Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) support to help you prepare your application.


Nepal’s new Federal Constitution is creating higher, inclusive economic growth for the population of c. 31M. Nepali is the official language; however English is also widely spoken. Main trading partners include the UK, India, Japan, China and the EU. Nepal has a high potential for development of hydro-electric power and, through sectors like agro-processing, light manufacturing and tourism, will present significant opportunities for UK business.


Nepal relies heavily on imported kerosene and gas. Most cooking uses wood fuel or agricultural waste. Biomass provides 86% of the total energy consumption, petroleum 9%, which is mainly consumed by urban areas, electricity only 2% and renewable 1% of the total energy mix. The World Bank has approved its first loan to strengthen the finances and operations of Nepal’s energy sector as part of the government’s plan for economic development.

Despite Nepal’s large hydro generation potential, electricity constitutes a very small part of total energy consumption. While 95% of the population is estimated to have access to grid and off-grid electricity, the per capita electricity consumption is a twentieth of the global average, and a fifth of the per capita electricity consumption in South Asia. Nepal also relies increasingly on electricity imports to reduce the electricity shortage in the country, creating opportunities for internal development.


To qualify, organisations must be interested in applying for Energy Catalyst Round 8. They must also be working within technology that addresses all three areas of the energy trilemma and aiming to increase energy access in Sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia. They must also be one of the below:

• UK-based micro or SME business (given priority)

• research technology organisation(RTO)

• academic organisation

• charity

• public sector organisation

This programme employs the De Minimis exemption regulation (public support with a €200,000 limit). Eligibility also subject to financial checks.

Companies that have joined previous GCRF missions may only apply if they can demonstrate:

• positive impact of their previous participation in applying for the Energy Catalyst Round 7

•clear additional benefit and impact through the application process

The maximum number of GCRF missions an organisation can attend is 2.


• Pitching to companies and organisations to find potential partners

• group meetings with key industry players to help understand the energy landscape and energy access issues

• Group site visits and potential linkages to local companies, renewable energy plants and villages that use outstanding renewable energy technologies

• Pre-mission workshop in London, week commencing Monday 30 March, providing market information and pitching training

• Your organisation’s profile in the mission brochure

• In-market help and advice


On acceptance to the mission, a commitment fee of £500+VAT will be taken from you, which will be returned on completion of the mission and feedback form.

Non-attendance after formal acceptance will result in forfeiting the commitment fee.


This visit is part of GCRF. For approved organisations Innovate UK will fund flights, visas, (5 or 6 nights) accommodation, in-country transport, and group meals. GCRF does not cover travel and health insurance for the mission. This must be obtained individually.

Travellers should be up to date with routine vaccination courses and boosters as recommended in the UK including for measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and diphtheria-tetanus-polio vaccine. Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid vaccinations are required and for specific risk activities including spending time in rural areas Cholera, Hepatitis B, Japanese Encephalitis (JE), Rabies and Tuberculosis are recommended. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. You will need a yellow fever vaccine certificate despite there being no Yellow fever in this region. Health facilities are reasonable in urban areas but are limited in rural areas. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.


It is a competitive process; places are limited, and applications will be evaluated by a panel of experts from the organisers.


For more information on the Energy Catalyst Round 8, please contact: Alice Goodbrook, Innovation Lead – Energy, Innovate UK, T: +44 (0)782 6513 670, E: or Dr Nicola Lazenby, Innovation Lead – Energy, Innovate UK, T: +44 (0)7342 088736, E:

For any additional information related to the mission, please contact: Thierry Delange, 0191 516 4400

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