Q: Can I apply as a start up?
A: To be eligible, you or the GDC member you are partnering with must have worked in the last mile distribution sector for at least one year.
Q: Can I apply if am not a GDC member?
A: We are accepting applications from GDC members as well as organisations that support last mile distributors and are co-applying with a GDC member (e.g. service providers, manufacturers, and software companies). If you are a last mile distributor but not yet a GDC member, sign up here.
Q: What is the required registration of the entities applying? Does the challenge only support for-profit entities?
There are no restrictions around what type of organsation you need to be to apply for GDC membership. GDC members are for-profit, not-for-profit or have hybrid models! Therefore, the Innovation Challenge is not limited to a certain type of entity.
Q: What exactly do you mean by ‘energy access products’?
A: We accept ideas that support the last mile distribution of products that contribute to SDG7. This includes solar lanterns, solar home systems, energy efficient appliances, improved cookstoves and fuels, as well as solar powered appliances for productive uses. You or the GDC member you apply with must sell these energy access products or, through your idea, be seeking to add them to your portfolio.
Q: What if the place I operate in is not on the list of eligible countries?
A: If your country is not on the list (found at the beginning of the application form) then you are unfortunately not eligible to apply this year. The geographic focus is not dictated by the GDC; it is shaped by the Transforming Energy Access programme, under which the GDC is funded.
Q: Is it important to develop a proposal together with either another GDC member or a service provider?
A: We welcome applications in partnership, either with another GDC member or an organisation like a service provider – if they make sense and will add value. This is not mandatory or a prerequisite.
Q: When will successful applicants receive the financial and technical support?
A: We plan to announce the winning ideas at the end of September, after which we will carry out the due diligence process with the winners. This means our collaboration will start no earlier than 1st November 2020.
Q: How can I use the funds if they are not meant to support the core business? And are there any restrictions to budget use?
A: In the second stage of the application process you will need to present a detailed budget, in which you should specify how money will be used to finance the piloting of your idea. This might include the salary of team members, and/or procurement of materials or software.
We will not fund the following costs as part of the pilot: overheads; financing or similar costs; maintenance and support costs to the extent that these relate to maintenance and/or support services beyond the scope of the pilot; taxation; fines and penalties; non‐cash items (incl. depreciation, amortisation, impairments, and movements in provisions).
Q: What does the replication activity entail?
A: This depends on the innovation. For some, it will mean replicating with some tweaks – for others the idea will be a service for LMDs that they can access. The GDC team will be capturing the learning from each innovation and supporting other members to adopt these innovations, i.e. through working groups, open-sourcing tools/templates, or having members present their innovations to the wider community.
Q: Do winners maintain the intellectual property of the idea they pilot?
A: Winners must understand that your idea and learning from your pilot will be used to benefit other GDC members; either because you will open-source the approach for others to replicate, or because it is a service that you or another organisation will be providing to other members.