Granted Consultancy Ltd

Specialists in securing grant funding

The team at Granted Consultancy share a common desire to make projects happen. We achieve this by identifying opportunities, understanding the barriers to success and helping our clients on the journey to realising their projects.

Funding to develop a Solar Powered Irrigation Pump - DFID



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Key Driver: The purpose of this call is is to develop an affordable solar-powered irrigation pump that can be deployed to developing regions around the world, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa.



Opens                                28 Sep 2015                    
Funding Body                  Department for International Development
Funding Amount            Up to £800,000
Next Step                         Registration
Registration closes:      02 Dec 2015, 12:00
Closes:                              09 Dec 2015, 12:00



Registration is required to enter this competition. Please note that registration will close 1 week before the competition application deadline.

The Department for International Development (DFID) leads the UK's work to end extreme poverty, ending the need for aid by creating jobs, unlocking the potential of girls and women and helping to save lives when humanitarian emergencies hit.



A successful outcome would be a prototype that delivers significant improvements in terms of cost, energy requirements and volume of water delivered when compared to existing irrigation solutions.

Target requirements for the device are:

  • Volume Production cost of £30.
  • Light weight.
  • Lift: 7m
  • Volume: 6m3/day.
  • Ability to be integrated into existing irrigation systems and cope with dirty water.
  • Easy to deploy and operate safely with no specialist skills.
  • Output proportional to sunlight available with some capability in light cloud.
  • Robust design able to withstand the extremes of climate throughout Africa.
  • Easily maintainable when deployed

Applicants must provide technical details of the device and how it meets all of the above targets in their application, including repair costs.  The volume production cost is the sum of costs of all resources consumed in the process of making the system including direct materials cost, direct labour cost and manufacturing overhead for high volume production, together with any proposed licensing costs.

DFID is working through SBRI to deliver development outcomes.  Therefore, from the outset, applicants need to consider their route to market in Africa.  If the applicant does not intend to market directly in Africa licencing or partnership could be considered.



The aim of the competition is to develop an affordable solar-powered irrigation pump that can be deployed to developing regions around the world, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa.

The project plan should identify the major packages of work within the project, with well defined milestones and deliverables. The plan for Phase 1 should be comprehensive – for Phase 2 only an outline is required. The emphasis throughout should be on practicality – we are seeking evidence that the technology works, can be made into a viable product and can achieve the proposed benefits. Appropriate record-keeping and reporting are essential but reports are not in themselves the main goal of the project.

Soil moisture, usually enabled by irrigation, is one of the key drivers of agricultural productivity. Studies have found that irrigation can lead to substantial increases in productivity from 50% (IFPRI, 2010) to over 100% (Molden, 2007).  However, despite the availability of groundwater, most African smallholder farmers do not have the economic wherewithal to access the water because pumps and other irrigation equipment are too expensive.  

Currently available manual (e.g., treadle) pumps are quite labour intensive, and often not suited for the needs of women farmers.  Motorized pumps currently on the market are expensive and require diesel, the cumulative costs of which are high (even though incremental costs might be low). In remote areas, the paucity of distribution networks for diesel is an additional constraint.

The lack of cost effective irrigation solutions has prevented the demonstrating of the benefits of irrigation at a large scale.  Existing solutions are not appropriate, reducing demand.  However, there is a demand for increased agricultural productivity to meet the food needs of a growing population which will feed through to demand for appropriate solutions.  This has also been identified as a critical technological advance needed for sustainable development by the Institute for Globally Transformative Technologies.


We also held an event concerning the South West Growth Fund in mid-September, which was a huge success. If you missed it, then don't worry. We're planning to hold similar meetings called 'Breakfast Briefings' on a quarterly basis in the future - more details can be found Here. 

If you'd like to be notified when sign-ups for these open please email; 

If you think you could benefit from this funding, or would like to know more about other funds you might be eligible for, please do not hesitate to contact us, on:

01392 427860