Information für die Wissenschaft Nr. 21 | 25. März 2020

Initiation of Collaborative Projects with Researchers from Sub-Saharan Africa in the Field of Solar Energy

Assessment of demand for a possible future call for proposals; status workshop in Bonn

In the near future, the current fossil energy-based world economy needs to be replaced with a circular economy relying on energy harvested from renewable sources, primarily sunlight. The necessary preconditions and the local requirements for such a profound transition towards renewable energy sources differ between industrialised countries like Germany and developing countries such as those in the sub-Saharan region. For example, in Africa, solar irradiation is more intense and more reliable than in Europe. For this reason, researchers in Germany and sub-Saharan Africa may benefit from collaborations within this research field.

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) and partner organisations from sub-Saharan Africa intend to assess the demand for joint bilateral or trilateral German/sub-Saharan African projects in the field of solar energy. Researchers based in Germany are encouraged to submit proposals within the DFG’s Initiation of International Collaboration Programme to develop cooperation projects with partners from any sub-Saharan African country. Visits by the African project partners to their partners in Germany should be planned so as to enable joint participation in a central status workshop in Bonn during the week of 28 June 2021. This workshop will be organised centrally by the DFG with the aim of assessing the need for a possible joint call for proposals and to collect lessons learnt about the frameworks in which such German/sub-Saharan African collaborations can evolve.

Project ideas should be rooted in the field of solar energy, comprising at least one of the disciplines of engineering, chemistry, physics, humanities or social sciences. Proposals should primarily address fundamental research questions. Projects limited to the collection of data or product development will be declined.

Proposals must be submitted in English within the Initiation of International Collaboration Programme by 3 June 2020 in order to be considered for participation in the status workshop. For further information on the programme and instructions for proposal preparation, please refer to the “Guidelines on Proposals for Grants to Support the Initiation of International Collaboration” (DFG form 1.813). Please note that proposals can only be submitted via elan, the DFG’s electronic proposal processing system. For the submission, please select the call “IIC – Solar Energy” in the elan portal.

Please note that if you are using the elan system for the first time, you need to register prior to submitting your proposal, providing your complete personal and address details, via elan by no later than 27 May 2020.

Further information

Guidelines on Proposals for Grants to Support the Initiation of International Collaboration with Proposal Preparation Instructions:

Project Description – Initiation of International Collaboration:

DFG’s Electronic Proposal Processing System for Applications – elan:

Further information on elan:

For general questions about the programme, please contact:

For subject-specific questions concerning DFG funding of projects on renewable energy, please contact: