Opportunity - MECS Cooking Support on Mini-Grids (COSMO) Challenge Fund

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MECS Cooking Support on Mini-Grids (COSMO) Challenge Fund
Financial: (Other Funding Opportunities)
  • Cooking
  • Mini-grid

Competition overview

The Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) challenge fund provides research funding to stimulate innovations in modern energy cooking technology and systems. In addition, MECS supports the advancement of innovative clean energy cooking products, processes, and services in low-income countries that are appropriate and acceptable to users.

The new ‘Cooking Support on Mini-Grids’ (COSMO) competition is the latest in a series of challenge funds that the MECS programme has engaged with. Previous funds have prompted innovation, early research, and piloting, all of which seek to rapidly accelerate the transition from biomass to clean cooking, particularly modern energy cooking services, on a global scale. The COSMO competition builds on this progression of interest by seeking to strengthen the utilization of mini-grids (MG) for eCooking. This new competition enables the MECS programme, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) and delivered by Loughborough University, to address key barriers to using electric cooking on mini-grids.

Launched on 14 September 2022, we are looking to fund projects with mini-grid developers (and their partners) to enable electric cooking appliances to be sustainably used in homes or businesses. Our research so far suggests that electric pressure cookers (EPCs) are the ‘front running candidate’ for this outreach, but we will consider any efficient electrical cooking appliance. Combinations of more than one device are acceptable if a strong case is made.

The key aim of the COSMO competition is to seek to explicitly strengthen the utilization of mini-grids (MG) for eCooking.

This competition is run in 2-phases, starting with a 5-month business plan. Progression between phase 1 and 2 will be competitive and dependent on overall success of the previous phase. Multiple projects will be funded.

Total duration will be 29 months. Total funding available is £200,000.

Match funding (financial or in-kind) and demonstrating links to other funding programmes is desirable. The finance element of your application will be preferentially scored if this is secured.

Eligible Organisations

Organisations (of any size, from any country) who can acquire (import, assemble, or manufacture) and distribute (e.g. sell for cash, sell on credit, PAYG, subsidised1 etc) a minimum of 1,500 efficient electrical cooking appliances to kickstart and research the ‘next step’ in creating a viable supply chain in a given country. Projects that progress to Phase 3 will need to demonstrate the capacity to distribute a further 2000 devices (minimum).


The competition is open for applications on the 14th September 2022 and closes on 23:55 GMT on the 9th November 2022. A webinar for COSMO (an overview of the competition and Q&A) will be hosted on 16th September 2022 (further details & register here).

Information on how to apply for the competition is available here.