‘Road to COP26 Innovation Grant Programme’ Nepal – Nov 2020-Nov 2021

With the British Council Nepal, Kathmandu University‘s Schools of Arts and Engineering, and working closely with our Scottish partner Edinburgh Napier University’s (ENU) Creative Informatics, Applied Arts Scotland are co-delivering the Road to COP26 Innovation Grant Programme. The Programme is supported by the British Council’s global Crafting Futures programme and the National Innovation Center.

Exploring innovation through the creative sector of crafts, the Programme supports Nepal-based businesses to develop new and exciting ideas for sustainability that harness nature-based processes, craft-related practices and entrepreneurship to promote positive environmental impacts for Nepal and beyond, necessary to strengthen adaptation and resilience to global challenges such as climate change.


  • Incubator event for 50 selected participants to further develop their ideas (April 2021)
  • Grants and tailored mentoring for six incubator event participants to take their ideas from concept to reality (April-September 2021)
  • Showcase of grantees’ projects in Nepal (rescheduled to January 2022 from Scotland in November 2021 during the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26)).

Detailed information about the Programme is available here.


Thun-Lam will partner the ‘drokpas’ (nomads) to conserve their traditional skills and indigenous practices via the creation of innovative and contemporary utilitarian products using traditional materials such as yak hair, without causing harmful impacts on the fragile ecosystem of Mustang and the surrounding Himalayas. Their ambition is to realise a replicable and adaptable model to be adopted by other Himalayan nomadic groups.

Tekka is a community of young entrepreneurs solving climate change issues through women’s empowerment. They provide women with entrepreneurial skills to transform under utilised, biodegradable local natural resources, normally discarded or burnt as waste as it has no perceived economic value, into women’s sanitary products. In addition to mitigating environmental issues, through the project and its products they are boosting women’s status through job and learning opportunities for women.

Dhiraj is from Bhaktapur in Nepal, a city listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its rich culture, temples, and wood, metal and stone artworks. He is challenging how foreign materials have disrupted locally sustained design eco-systems. Dhau is a potential design solution for the consumption and delivery of the locally produced yogurt, using local materials such as terracotta made by artisans with intergenerational skills. He aims to demonstrate how older designs can be rejuvenated and adapted to modern living without sacrificing functionality.

Taking a sustainable and creative approach, Bhawana is designing and producing children’s toys in collaboration with local Nepali indigenous artisans that pay homage to their local roots.

Pyangaun is a small settlement 14km south of Kathmandu. Its name comes from the signature handicraft pyang bamboo containers. Traditionally, bamboo containers in maana and pathi measures were handmade and until recently very popular. A lack of cultural and economic understanding, means the products and craft skills are now on the verge of extinction. In this project, Alina and Aman will preserve the bamboo-craft culture by highlighting and documenting skills and practice and exploration of new products. They will work specifically with women and youth.

Aauzar are a team of final year mechanical engineering students at Kathmandu University. They are progressing a design to create looms for weaving constructed from repurposed discarded wooden furniture, preventing them going to landfill, to support the craft industries.

Read Creative Informatics Research Fellow, Dr Inge Panneels’ The Road to COP26 and Beyond blog post about her research and reflections on this project and others that reflect data driven approaches to climate change undertaken in the run up to COP26.

Find out more about our involvement with and projects as a UK partner in the British Council’s Crafting Futures programme here.

The Innovation Grant Programme is part of the Road to COP26 campaign of activities implemented by the British Council with support from the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) Nepal which aims to strengthen capacities and amplify voices of those most impacted so that they can engage national and international stakeholders of climate change response in the lead up to COP26.

On Twitter

.@GsmithsCentre seek up to 10 individuals to join their Community Advisory Group to support the developments of initiatives & programmes that are informed, #innovative & #inclusive. Apply by 28/01/2022 https://t.co/85B1pWMqY3