TIA Call for Proposals: Grassroots Innovation Programme in South Africa

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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

The following is a list of fundable activities:

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  • 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.


  • 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:

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  • 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.

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Eligible Country: South Africa

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

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