Sustainable Manufacturing and Environmental Pollution Program (SMEP) – Reducing Plastic Pollution in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia (Research and Innovation)

Deadline for submitting applications at 11:59 p.m. on July 2, 2021.


The SMEP Plastics Fund has a total budget of up to £ 5million over 3 years. We are looking for calls for projects for research and development projects that have the potential to bring new solutions in the plastics value chain upstream of end-of-life solutions. Ideally, these should be well placed to be taken up on a large scale by industry in the region.

Priority will be given to SMEP target countries: Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan, although requests from others ODA countries may also be considered. Providers can choose to work in more than one country in a (sub) region.

The deadline for submitting applications is July 2, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.

What the fund will achieve

This SMEP plastics fund aims to improve pollution levels, human health and the environment by reducing plastic pollution in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The Fund aims to provide solutions to reduce the incidence of one-way, poorly designed, disposable plastic items that are likely to become waste. More details can be found in the link below.

How to register

To apply and for more information, please follow this connect. Concept applications are welcome by 11:59 pm on July 2, 2021. Successful applicants will be invited to submit full proposals. The implementation of the successful proposals is expected to start in November 2021.

Background information

The Sustainable Manufacturing and Environmental Pollution (SMEP) program, funded by the UK’s Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) in partnership with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), supports innovative solutions that prevent pollution from manufacturing to be released into the environment. It focuses on generating evidence and practical solutions to solve the problem of plastic pollution in the oceans. The program has an investment fund of up to £ 20million to be disbursed over a 5-year period (2019-2024), with up to £ 5million potentially available for this plastics call.

the SMEP Program Funding calls are managed by a consortium of procurement management agencies (PMAs) led by Pegasys and comprising the South, South North and International Center for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD). Questions relating to procurement should be addressed to [email protected] SMEP is funded by the Research and Evidence Department of FCDO in partnership with UNCTAD.

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