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The Mobile for Development Utilities Innovation Fund, supported by the UK Government, was launched in June 2013 to test and scale the use of mobile to improve or increase access to energy, water and sanitation services. In two phases of funding, grants have been competitively awarded to 34 organisations across four continents.
The specific objective of the Innovation Fund is to extract insights from the trial and scaling of these innovative models to inform three key questions for growing the sector:

  • How can mobile support utility services?
  • For a mobile-enabled solution to be adopted at scale, what building blocks are needed?
  • What are the social and commercial impacts of delivering community services to underserved mobile subscribers?

The three types of grants the programme awards include:

Seed Grants:

  • To support the research and development of early stage innovations using mobile to increase or improve access to sustainable energy, water and sanitation services for underserved communities
  • Up to GBP 150,000 in funding, 25% of total project cost matched by grantee

Market Validation Grants:

  • To support partnerships between mobile network operators and/or tower companies with utility service providers to scale mobile-enabled business models to increase or improve access to energy, water or sanitation services for underserved communities
  • Up to GBP 300,000 in funding, 50% of total project cost matched by grantee

Utilities Partnership Grants:

  • To support partnerships between a solution provider/innovator and a utility and/or a government agency to trial models that use mobile to increase or improve access to energy, water and sanitation services to underserved communities
  • Up to GBP 200,000 in funding, 50% of total project cost matched by grantee

Case studies detailing the learnings from these grants are made public to share learnings with broader stakeholders. We have currently awarded all available funds to grantees (see our grant portfolio on Our Grantees page) and are not accepting any further applications. Follow our blogs to see information about our case studies and future funding opportunities.

 

 

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