GIZ | Applications for Innovation Challenge now open

The global community has set itself the goal to end hunger by 2030. To achieve this, agriculture must become more efficient and sustainable along the entire value chain. Current approaches are not sufficient to achieve this. Practicable and regionally adapted innovations are needed. The Agricultural Innovation Fund aims to promote these. Apply now with your idea for Africa and South East Asia!

What kind of innovations are we looking for?

We are looking for innovative ideas that make the agricultural and food sector more efficient and sustainable along the entire value chain in our partner countries. The Innovation Challenge has three main focuses:

Renewable Energies

In these areas we are looking for innovations that offer new approaches that lead to positive changes and from which many people in our partner countries will benefit. This could be for instance a new kind of harvester, a new process design or a new way of cooperating with one another.

Who can apply?

We are looking for start-ups and small businesses from our participating partner countries in Africa and South East Asia. The innovation must be suitable for our partner countries. It is important to us that the participants of the Innovation Challenge also contribute with their idea to a common good and sustainable development in African and Southeast Asian countries.

There are three competition categories – you can choose!

Each participant can apply for one of the following categories:

1) Mechanization in the context of agriculture
2) Digitalization in the context of agriculture
3) Renewable energies in the context of agriculture

There will be first-place winners in each category as well as second- and third-place winners. The focus of all categories is the development of the innovation for application in our participating partner countries.

What can be won?

The three winners of each category will receive a support package which will be individually tailored to their innovation with a total value of up to EUR 50,000. The package of the second-place winners is worth up to EUR 20,000 and the third-place winners up to EUR 10,000.
Together with the winners we will decide what is necessary to develop the innovation most efficiently. The support packages can contain the following elements, which can be selected individually or combined with each other:

I. Knowledge and Know-how

We finance national and international experts to promote the development of your innovation.

II. Coaching and Training

We finance coaching and training for you and your team to build and develop more competence.

III. Mentoring

We finance experienced mentors who advise and support you in the development of your company.

IV. Networking

Contacts and a well-developed network are essential. Benefit from the extensive network that GIZ can offer you with public, private and political partners. Become part of the GIZ Innovation Community and exchange ideas with other companies worldwide. We can open doors and enable networking.

V. Studies

We finance studies to make you fit for the market. This includes market analyses and feasibility studies.

How can you apply?

  1. Click on the following link “Apply” and fill out the form completely.
  2. Applications are accepted until 31 March 2020.


How are the winners selected?

  1. Deadline for submission of all applications is 31 March 2020.
  2. Employees of the GIZ Agricultural Innovation Fund evaluate all applications according to previously standardized criteria (see conditions of participation). These include the practical benefits and impact of the innovation in the partner countries, the degree of innovation in the partner countries and the possibilities for implementing the innovation in the partner countries. References to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals is also an evaluation criterion (in particular goals 1, 2, 9, 17 and 7).
  3. Employees of the GIZ Agricultural Innovation Fund will select the best five applications for each category by 30 April 2020.
  4. Announcement of the finalists for Berlin on 30 April 2020. The best five applicants in each category will be invited by GIZ to Berlin for the Innovation Challenge Final on 5 June 2020. Each finalist will be given 10 minutes to present the innovation to an audience and an international jury of experts. The presentation can be done in German, English or French.
  5. In May 2020, there will be two mandatory online webinars with a professional coach to prepare all participants for their presentation in Berlin.
  6. A mandatory workshop in Berlin to prepare the presentations for the Innovation Challenge Final will take place from 03 to 04 June 2020.
  7. Innovation Challenge Final on 05 June 2020. Travel and accommodation costs as well as expenses will be covered by GIZ for the entire trip to Berlin (see conditions for participation).
  8. The international jury of experts will select the winners in each category as well as second-place and third-place winners. The announcement of the winner will be done during the final on 05 June 2020.
  9. The cooperation between the winners and the GIZ Agricultural Innovation Fund will start after the final.

Learn more

Source: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), 16 March 2020