SMEP Current and Upcoming Calls

Starting in July 2022, the SMEP programme will launch a staggered set of open calls for innovative projects[1] to reduce or eliminate waste and manufacturing pollution in target countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Projects should result in either proof of concept or a piloted solution, or both.

A two-stage application process will be followed: In Stage 1 applicants will be invited to submit a concept and in Stage 2 shortlisted applicants will be requested to submit detailed proposals. Implementation of successful applications should be able to start by no later than April 2023.To start the application process for funding please register your interest here. Individual Terms of Reference will be provided for each call.


Funding will be available for projects that address the following sectors and countries: 

  1. 1. Piloting technology solutions that address manufacturing pollution in East Africa, launched on the  18th of July 2022 and closed 15th of September 2022. For more details,  see the piloting technology solutions page.

Specifically, waste-to-energy inputs for industry, with a focus on biogas production from anaerobic digesters and organic pyrolysis and recycling industry inputs for industrial processes, with a focus on wastewater treatment. Concepts will be evaluated according to the ease of integration; the extent of resource efficiency; and pollution mitigation, of the technology to be piloted. 

Local engagement on this call in Kenya and Uganda, will be facilitated Open Capital Advisors who can be contacted here.

See the SMEP piloting technology solutions brochure for more information. 

For contextual information on this procurement, please refer to Synopsis Series 1: Kenya and Uganda – Uptake of Pollution Mitigating Technologies

  1. 2. Market-aligned interventions for cleaner production in the textiles value chain, in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, launched on 12th of October 2022 and closes  31st of January 2023, 13:00 GMT. For more details,  see the textiles industry interventions page.

Implementation-focused projects and solutions that are applicable to the commercial value chains of the textiles and clothing sector, and that contribute to reducing or eliminating manufacturing pollution and waste, including but not limited to excessive consumption of raw materials, water, and energy; and generation and poor management of liquid effluents and solid waste. Projects should bring together the following parties:

  • Retailers and other textile buyers (demand side parties) and
  • The manufacturers operating in the textiles value chain (supply-side parties)
  • Solution providers, including technology providers and research institutions in the pollution-control and circularity areas.

Note that other countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia may be considered.

See the SMEP textiles brochure and Terms of Reference  for more information. 
For contextual information on this procurement, please refer to Synopsis Series 1: Country and Sector Priorities.

Two information webinars were held on 20 October 2022 and on 24 November 2022. Please find the recordings of these here and here as well as a Questions & Answers log, incorporating questions from both events.


  1. 3. Pollution mitigation interventions in the tanneries sector, in target countries Bangladesh, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania: Launch delayed

Regrettably, due to economic uncertainties for the upcoming financial year, a decision has been made to delay the tanneries open procurement call.

The Programme notes the strategic economic importance of the tanneries sector in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa and the stakeholder momentum to address the complex environmental management and human health challenges within the sector. The sector remains a critical aspect of, and a focus sector for, the SMEP programme.   

We thank all stakeholders for their interest in this call and engagement thus far. The SMEP team will continue to engage and share updates. We will ensure that all interested parties have adequate time and information to prepare applications that meet programme requirements. Please also check the procurement page on the SMEP website regularly. 

Once ready for launch, SMEP invites concepts that are framed for the local context and aimed at addressing:

  • – Improved access to evidence and enhancing knowledge and understanding.
  • – Process interventions (physical, biological, and chemical).
  • – Regulatory controls and enhanced regulatory capacity.
  • – Commercial value proposition for cleaner production within the value chain.
  • – Circularity/industrial symbiosis.

See the SMEP Tanneries Brochure for more information. 

For contextual information on this procurement (currently delayed), please refer to:

These three calls carry a total budget of up to £9 million. It is anticipated that up to six projects will be funded per sector of interest, with budgets ranging between £250 000–1 million each, with a 12–24-month implementation period.

These sectors were identified and selected based on the manufacturing pollution mapping research commissioned by SMEP in 2020 and 2021. Reports on the outcomes of this research are available on the SMEP resources page.

 If you are interested in applying for funding for projects under any of the SMEP sectors of interest, please register your interest here.

[1] The SMEP Programme is funded as Official Development Assistance (ODA). Applications must meet the agreed OECD definition of aid.