28 September 2016

Funding opportunity: Food & Business Applied Research Fund (ARF)

This news is redirected by The Secretariat for Development Cooperation at SCIENCE from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

Deadline: 6th December, 2016, 14:00.

The Food & Business Applied Research Fund provides grants to applied research contributing to innovation for food security and private sector development in the 15 partner countries of Dutch development cooperation. Proposals may be submitted by consortia consisting of at least

  • one private or public practitioners organisation active in the partner countries and
  • one research or higher education organisation.

One Dutch partner is required.

Please note that the deadline for submission is 6 December 2016. The call for proposals, application form and format consortium agreement can be downloaded at the bottom of this page. Some changes have been made in this call for proposals as compared to the previous two ARF-calls. Most notably with regard to the foci of the call, the additional option to have a different focus on two countries (Bangladesh and Kenya) and the reimbursable costs. For further information please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) at the bottom of this page.


In this call, fifteen projects can be granted. ARF aims at promoting research supported innovations that are readily applicable and contribute to the enhancement of sustainable food security for the most vulnerable populations in the fifteen partner countries of Dutch development cooperation: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Benin, Burundi, Ethiopia, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Palestinian Territories, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda, Yemen.

In this call it is also possible to submit a proposal with a different focus on Bangladesh and Kenya. Four projects will be granted within this specific scheme (two for each country).

Food security is defined as a focus area of Dutch development policy, in which the knowledge and skills of Dutch private and research actors can assist the partner countries in improving food security. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs funds ARF to support applied research projects that are driven by local demands.

Research projects should evolve through co-creation: a concerted effort of practitioners and research and/or higher education organisations. Projects should contribute to improving sustainable and inclusive access to sufficient and healthy food and an inclusive business climate for the most vulnerable people in the Dutch partner countries. Projects must show applicability of the newly developed or adjusted knowledge, insights, technologies, tools, products, services or policies. Since a strong local/regional private sector is important in reaching local/regional food security, research projects that aim at improving local/regional entrepreneurship are included.

Who can apply

A consortium applying for the ARF should consist of at least two partners that integrate different kinds of knowledge and execute a project as an effort of co-creation:

  1. private or public practitioner organisation registered in one of the fifteen partner countries of Dutch development cooperation acting as the main applicant.
  2. research organisation from a partner country or from the Netherlands, acting as co-applicant.
  3. In case the organisation/company under A is not a local branch of a Dutch partner or the research organisation under B is not from the Netherlands, a third co-applicant is required, that is from The Netherlands. This can be a private or public practitioner organisation or a research organisation.

In the execution of the project at least one researcher from a partner country must be involved (not necessarily as consortium member). The involvement of additional partners, acting as co-applicant is encouraged. Next to this, gender expertise and female participation is required in the consortium and/or the project team.

What to apply for

A grant amounts to a minimum of 50,000 euros (for six months) and a maximum of 300,000 euros (for 36 months). Per 6 months a maximum of 50,000 euros ARF subsidy can be applied for.

Grants should contribute directly to the project. Reimbursable cost include:

  • Personnel and overhead: Salaries for personnel, which should be guided by the organisations’ norms and legal regulations for the country concerned.
  • Audit costs: for a final external independent audit up to a maximum of 5,000 euros, so as to review and verify the correct application and justification of the ARF grant and the co-funding contributions.
  • Travel and accommodation: Travel and accommodation expenses for consortium partners and of the expenses incurred in short trips (<3 months) of team members directly related to the project up to a maximum of 20 per cent of the ARF grant budget.
  • Research costs: durables (buildings excluded), consumables, assistance.
  • Knowledge sharing costs: activities organised by the consortium, such as workshops (including evaluation workshops), capacity building, meetings, local/regional dissemination of results aimed at involving stakeholders from outside the consortium up to a maximum of 15 per cent of the ARF grant budget.

Co-funding: private partners and/or local and international research organisations of the consortium should contribute to the project budget by providing co-funding (in cash and/or in kind) that amounts to a minimum of 20% of the grant.

Read more about assessment criteria, procedure and instructions here.