Africa Call

Call for Project Proposals
Pilot Application of the eco-innovation approach in Small and Medium-sized
Enterprises in countries of Africa
Key Facts:
Who can apply:
Organizations with service provider and business intermediary
capacity in the area of Resource efficiency and Cleaner Production
(RECP) from Africa
Focus sectors:
Agri-food, chemicals and metals
Implementation period:
Up to 18 months
Available resources per project:
Depending on project proposal and identified needs, funds of a
maximum of US 160,000 per proposal available
How to apply:
Please send your project proposal form with a cover letter addressed
to Patrick Mwesigye, Regional Coordinator for SCP, the UNEP
Regional Office for Africa
Timeline for application:
 Expression of interest
 Submission of proposals
 Notification of selection
21 July, 2014 (max 2 weeks from dissemination)
4 August 2014
1 September 2014
Background: The UNEP eco-innovation project
Eco-innovation is the development and application of a business model, shaped by a new business strategy
that incorporates sustainability throughout all business operations based on life cycle thinking and in
cooperation with partners across the value chain. It entails a coordinated set of modifications or novel
solutions to products (goods / services), processes, market approach and organizational structure which leads
to a company’s enhanced performance and competitiveness.
The UNEP eco-innovation project aims to develop local resources and capacities for eco-innovation in
developing and transition economies. It specifically targets small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). To
reach the SMEs, the UNEP eco-innovation project co-operates with service providers within Resource
Efficiency and Cleaner Production (RECP), other business intermediaries, and national governments. The
overall project is made-up of different key components: developing business case for eco-innovation,
enhancing policy context including methods for acquiring and developing technology, developing technical
expertise and capacity for adoption of eco-innovation and fostering regional and international collaboration.
The overall aim is to enhance the business sector contribution to the achievement of resource efficiency and
sustainable consumption and production patterns.
To support the development of local capacities and deliver targeted technical assistance, UNEP is developing
the following project tools:
The UNEP eco-innovation project is implemented with the financial support of the European Commission
A Business Case for Eco-Innovation publication for companies that clearly demonstrates why ecoinnovation makes good business case based on examples of eco-innovative companies from around
the world.
An Eco-Innovation Manual, which provides a step-by-step guide to support service providers in
assisting SMEs to implement eco-innovation.
Three sector-specific supplements for agri-food, chemicals, and metals that provide technical
guidance on how to practically implement the methodological approach of the core Eco-Innovation
These documents provide the foundation for Pilot Application of the UNEP eco-innovation approach in SMEs
in developing countries and emerging economies.
The draft Eco-innovation Manual is provided in Annex 1
Who can apply?
Proposals are sought from national organizations with service provider and business intermediary capacity in
the area of RECP, including National Cleaner Production Centres (NCPCs) and members of the global UNEPUNIDO RECPnet. Within the project and hereafter, these organizations are called Service Providers (SP).
What is this call about?
This call for proposals is focused on engaging the technical expertise and capacity building support needed to
pilot the UNEP eco-innovation approach in SMEs in the agri-food, chemicals and metals sectors. Service
Providers will reach out to as many SMEs from selected sectors in their countries as needed to have at least 5
companies fully implement eco-innovation and prepare resultant case studies.
Below is a general process for activity implementation at the national level:
In advance of project implementation, the selected Service Providers will develop an overall work
plan for national activities, which should include the timeframe and key deliverables as well as
information relating to resources required (financial and technical) to guide their support to
companies. The work plan will be used to determine UNEP funding allocation and will constitute the
basis for the funding agreement.
Service Providers will receive training at the regional level on how to engage SMEs in eco-innovation
and how to assist them to implement the approach at company level using the Eco-innovation Manual
and related sector supplements. Part of the training will be also dedicated to how Service Providers
can participate in creating enabling policy context for eco-innovation.
Service providers will organize a start-up and training event in their countries to relevant stakeholders
and potential companies from the selected sector.
Service providers will follow the steps described in the eco-innovation manual to assess the market
suitability for eco-innovation, identify main challenges and opportunities, create awareness about ecoinnovation and interest and engage enough SMEs so that at least 5 SMEs are fully engaged and
implement eco-innovation and produce pilot results.
Service providers will assist the selected companies in the processes of embedding eco-innovation in
the company using the eco-innovation manual approach. Throughout most of the process the Service
Providers will have access to technical expertise and support of international experts and UNEP.
A minimum of 5 complete case studies will be prepared by each Service Provider, using a template
that will be provided by UNEP. The case studies will be compiled into a compendium to enhance the
Business Case for Eco-innovation publication of UNEP.
Service providers will give documented feedback on the use of project tools and lessons learned from
the project implementation. These will be used to modify and finalize the core Eco-innovation manual
and its sector supplements to refine further replication and scaling up activities by Service Providers,
companies and other interested organizations including UNEP.
This call for proposals invites Service Providers to submit a proposal to undertake the work described above.
UNEP will provide some financial support to carry out the work, as well as additional capacity building and
technical assistance throughout the project implementation from international experts and UNEP.
How to apply?
Interested Service Providers should first send an expression of interest to submit a proposal.
Then they should fill in the template for technical proposal and prepare a cover letter to explain their
motivation for participation.
Joint applications can be submitted with the concurrent call for project proposals on Mainstreaming
SCP Policy for Eco-innovation, for which a separate proposal template is available.
Expression of interests and applications to be sent to Patrick Mwesigye, Regional Coordinator for SCP,
the UNEP Regional Office for Africa at with a copy to
How will proposals be evaluated?
Quality of the application and balance of the sectors covered by the projects (preference to one sector
per country);
The location of the projects: 2 countries per region;
Technical capacity of applicant or of combined applicants and other partners in proposal;
The potential for replication of the approach (i.e. existing conditions in the country that ensure that the
approach can be replicated beyond the pilot);
The amount and/or quality of co-funding or in-kind contribution that the organization can provide to
the project
For any further information, please contact:
Mr. Patrick Mwesigye
Regional Coordinator for SCP
UNEP Regional Office for Africa
Ms. Katie Tuck
Associate Programme Officer, UNEP DTIE
Tel: (33-1) 44 37 14 90