Funding Information: The expected value of funding for each innovation will vary between CHF 30,000 and CHF 60,000 (converted to its equivalent USD value). 

The SoLAR Innovation Fund (IF) aims to support the development and testing of technological, financial and institutional innovations to address the constraints and challenges of upscaling solar irrigation, with a special focus on the problems faced by small-scale, marginal, and women farmers in South Asia (specifically Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Pakistan).

The IF will, in particular, aim to support innovations and practices that can influence policy or be expanded and integrated into regular government programs and practices with the support of additional funding sources. The objectives of the IF are as follows:

  • Support innovations that help to bridge the gaps that hamper the scaling out of solar irrigation pumps in South Asia.
  • Support innovations targeted at reducing barriers for sustainable adoption and use of solar irrigation pumps by small-scale, marginal, and women farmers.
  • Support innovations that encourage the sustainable use of groundwater resources when using solar-based irrigation.
  • Support innovations that enhance climate-resilient livelihood options for small-scale, marginal, and women farmers in the region.



Innovation fund grantees will be selected from an open competitive process. The SoLAR IF Grant is open to all nongovernmental organizations, universities, technical institutes, research institutes, public and private sector enterprises and research laboratories, and government agencies, including local government institutions working in any of these four countries who are eligible for this grant. This is not a research grant, and all innovations have to be tested on the ground under real-life field conditions. Applicants must already have the required registrations and permits needed to work in the country they select, and proof of such registration/permit must be sent together with the application letter. Collaboration with Swiss firms/organizations is encouraged, though not mandatory.

  • Nature and scope of the innovation and its relevance to the aims of this call
  • Strategic and innovative value for meeting the challenges set out in the call
  • Logic and clarity of the innovation and its design
  • Technological, social, institutional and financial feasibility
  • Potential for replication and scaling up
  • Relevance to climate change concerns
  • Financial viability of the innovation and exit strategy
  • Value for money and cost-effectiveness of the project
  • Expertise and qualifications of the project team
  • Background and experience of the project team in handling similar projects

Innovation teams led by women, or teams that have adequate representation of women and youth, will be given priority.

How to Apply

Email address for sending submissions: (subject line: Submissions to RFP-IF-SoLAR)

For more information, see this link: SoLAR Funding