TIA Call for Proposals: Grassroots Innovation Programme in South Africa

Deadline: 8 February 2019

Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) is seeking proposals for its Grassroots Innovation Programme which is a targeting grassroots innovators who require funding to develop and prototype their technology innovations up to pre-commercialisation.

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A grassroots innovator is defined as “an individual who undertakes innovations to solve local challenges using local resources and capabilities through working outside the realm of formal innovation institutions”.

Fundable Activities

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The following is a list of fundable activities:

  • Development & production of fully functional prototypes of product innovations that respond to social challenges;
  • Operational & capacity building activities for innovators through product development, training and mentoring (acceleration);
  • Specialised equipment that is within the budget constraints and required to enable Innovation activities;
  • Introduction of a proof of concept where a viable business case can be demonstrated;
  • Attaining compliance of already registered enterprises;
  • Registration of intellectual property rights, copyright and trademark protection and licensing;
  • Personal and travelling stipend to the innovators in support of the development of their Innovation.


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  • Grant funding for the proposed innovation including:
    • IP Support;
    • Product and technical development expertise, design, infrastructure & hard/software materials, & manufacturing;
    • Business development support;
    • Networking, mentorship and market access activities;
    • Industry compliance and certification.
  • Incubation support for a minimum period of 12 months.


The following is a list of non-fundable activities:

  • Operational activities not related to innovation activities; Acquiring of licenses to replicate external innovations;
  • Research projects;
  • Research institutions and organisations;
  • Student bursaries, research projects and extended periods of work. Students can be contracted to perform specific tasks that are only directly related to the project; and
  • Infrastructure development.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The programme is targeting South African citizens with preference to youth, women and persons with disabilities.
  • Applications will be assessed against the following criteria:
    • The application must be at concept design/early proof of concept, that is pre-revenue, and with less than R100 000 In previous external Investment;
    • The technology is novel and addresses market or social need;
    • A working prototype and proof of concept Is technologically and financially viable and uses sustainable design and production methods and materials;
    • A clear market need has been identified;
    • Whether the Innovation addresses a real social challenge and is flexible to conditions (geography, locality, etc.); and
    • Whether a vision for the commercialisation viability of the Innovation has been articulated.

How to Apply

Applicants can submit their applications via email at the address given on the website.

Eligible Country: South Africa

For more information, please visit https://www.tia.org.za/gip/

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