Innovation Fund 1st Call for Proposals Resilient Agriculture for Inclusive and Sustainable Ethiopian Food Systems (RAISE-FS),



  • Category : Baseline Consultancy
  • Posted Date : 11/14/2022
  • Phone Number : 0118360313
  • Source : Reporter
  • Closing Date : 12/16/2022


Innovation Fund

1st Call for Proposals

November 14, 2022


Stichting Wageningen Research (SWR) Ethiopia is an international NGO registered in Ethiopia since March 2021 with the FDRE Agency for Civil Society Organizations. The organization is established with the objectives of promoting a more resilient, inclusive and sustainable food systems in Ethiopia. SWR Ethiopia currently implements four projects; Resilient Agriculture for Inclusive and Sustainable Ethiopian Food Systems (RAISE-FS), Ethiopia-Netherlands Seed Partnership (ENSP), REFOOTURE and OTIPAVA projects. Resilient Agriculture for Inclusive and Sustainable Food Systems (RAISE-FS), RAISE-FS is a project designed with the goal of creating evidence for practices that contribute to transformation of the food system by addressing leverage points in relation to productivity, enhanced value chain performance and improved human nutrition for improved food security while minimizing the impact on the environment and ensuring social inclusion. Among its interventions is, a component on promoting private sector driven innovation via a grant scheme called the “Innovation Fund” that offers funding. These innovation projects are expected to address hindering challenges in various agricultural sub-sectors in Ethiopia while benefiting smallholder farmers, improve food systems and/or enhance export of selected commodities.

What is the Innovation Fund?

The objective of the Innovation Fund is to promote innovations in selected agricultural sub-sectors in Ethiopia that enhances export and benefit smallholder farmers, women & youth as well as food system improvement. The Innovation Fund will focus on innovations at all segments of value chain from production to marketing to consumers.

The Innovation Fund runs from October 2022 to June 2025. It will provide financial and technical support to projects that support the objective of the Fund and that meet its criteria.

The Innovation Fund is managed by the Resilient Agriculture for Inclusive and Sustainable Ethiopian Food Systems (RAISE-FS). RAISE-FS is implemented by Stitching Wageningen Research Ethiopia and funded by the Dutch Government

What has the Innovation Fund to offer?

  • Type B project it is €25,000 (please refer to section 2 of the Fund Manual for type of project/range of grants- link at the end). Fund disbursement will be carried out by means of flexible payment plan, based on decision by the Approval Committee and cash flow needs of the project. Different grant payment mechanisms such as direct financing, result based cost reimbursement, voucher and e-payment systems will be introduced depending on the project nature and financial requirement.
  • Actively link applicant companies to other organizations (buyers, cooperatives, NGOs, research institutions, etc.)

Inform applicant companies about latest technologies and developments via business platforms, personal meetings and Innovation Opportunity Reports

What conditions doInnovation Fund projects have to fulfil? 

  • The Project should take place in the poultry, legumes, spices, oilseeds, potato or vegetables subsectors/commodities by focusing on, at least, one of the following domains: export enhancement, import substitution, food system improvement, climate resilience, smallholder farmers support and youth and women economic empowerment
  • Projects should introduce new or improved products, services, technology, business models and/or service delivery models to Ethiopia. Please note that innovations, which have been financed by Bilateral Ethiopia-Netherlands Effort for Food Income and Trade (BENEFIT), the predecessor of RAISE-FS or other Dutch fundings, aren’t eligible for funding. Annex 1 of the Fund Manual provides an overview of some of the innovations that aren’t eligible for funding.
  • The project should directly or indirectly benefit smallholder farmers, women and youth

Projects should be implemented within one year.

Who can submit projects to the Innovation Fund?

  • The applicant should be a registered company that is able to present a valid Ethiopian business license.
  • Partnerships of multiple companies, NGOs, research institutions, etc. are allowed to submit an application, as long as this partnership consists of at least one registered and licensed company. In this case, (one of) the registered and licensed companies will be the applicant for the grant, and will be end-responsible for project implementation.
  • Foreign companies without Ethiopian business license are only allowed to apply in partnership with a company that possesses an Ethiopian business license, which will be applicant and end-responsible for project implementation.
  • Applicants can’t receive grant funding for more than one project at a time.
  • Partner companies, NGOs, research institutions, etc. can be involved in more than one project at a time.
  • Applicants should be willing to submit bi-annual progress updates, as well as host RAISE-FS staff on company premises before, during and after project evaluation and implementation.

How much co-financing is expected from applicant companies or partnerships?

  • Applicants are required to make cash and in-kind contributions towards the project, whereby for Type A projects, this contribution is equal to or larger than the grant amount. For Type B projects, applicant’s contribution is equal to or more than 50% of the grant amount (25% of the project cost). For Type A projects, a minimum of 20% of the own contribution should be in cash while for Type B project applicant’s contribution can be in cash, kind or in both cash and kind.
  • In-kind contributions should be directly associated with project requirements, such as agricultural inputs, machinery and tools, as well as (part of) salaries of staff that are involved in project implementation. The own contribution must come from other sources than grants, especially not from grant programmes of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands or the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

How does the Innovation Fund work?

The Innovation Fund application process is structured around Call for Projects. Underlying document is the first Call for Projects. Each Call for Projects employs a two-stage submission process:

  • During the first stage a concept note will be submitted, including business license. Overall eligibility of the concept note will be checked against the minimum criteria as laid out in underlying Call for Projects and the Fund Manual.
  • Applicants that fulfil the minimum criteria will enter the second stage, and will be invited to submit a full proposal. Each proposal is evaluated on the basis of the minimum criteria and five Selection Criteria as laid out in underlying Call for Projects and the Fund Manual.

Technical and financial capacity of the applicant to implement the intended project might be assessed via a company visit during first stage and second stage assessment. Companies can only re-apply a rejected concept note and proposal once

What are the deadlines for underlying Call for Projects?

  • Announcement Call for Projects: 14 November 2022
  • Deadline for submission of concept notes: 16 December 2022
  • Announcement of selected concept notes: 03 February 2023
  • Deadline for submission of proposals for the selected concept notes: 10 March 2023
  • Announcement of approved proposals: 7 April 2023
  • Signing of contract: 28 April 2023
  • First disbursement for approved projects (if requirements from the beneficiary are timely met): 12 May 2023

What are the Selection Criteria for assessing full proposals?

  • Technical approach (20 pts): This is the degree to which the proposed project offers innovations to Ethiopia, is feasible for implementation in the Ethiopian context, is demand-driven, and provides input for easy and cost-effective replication at other locations.
  • Economic viability (20 pts): Proposed project must show a cost-benefit analysis indicating a roadmap towards profitability in the short to medium term (1-3 years).
  • Implementation Capacity (20 pts): The extent to which the applicant and possible partners are capable of undertaking and accomplishing the proposed project.
  • Value-for-money and additionality (20 pts): The relationship between the requested grant and significance/quality of project outcomes, including justification for the need of using public funds to co-finance the project
  • Impact (20 pts): The criterion assesses to which extent the proposed project is likely to have positive sustainable impact on export, import substitution, food system improvement, direct & indirect employment opportunity, support to smallholder farmers, women & youth economic empowerment and climate resilience

How can you submit a concept note for underlying Call for Projects?

Please submit signed concept notes, including copy of business license (front & back pages), to Concept notes that are received after 16 December 2022, 5:00 PM will not be taken into consideration for underlying Call for Projects

Where can you find the Fund Manual and concept note form?

Fund Manual and concept note form are available upon request by sending an email to  or can be downloaded from

Who is your contact person?

If you have any additional questions after reading Call for Projects and Fund Manual, please feel free to contact Mr. Shitaye Adugna at  or call this number +251 118 360313.