The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) is a national public entity that facilitates the translation of South Africa’s knowledge resource into sustainable socio-economic opportunities. TIA serves as the key institutional intervention to bridge the innovation division between research and development from higher education institutions, science councils, public entities, the private sector, and commercialisation.
The Agency’s focus is on technology development; from proof of concept to pre commercialisation. To achieve this, TIA established the following funds; the Seed Fund, the Technology Development Fund, and the Commercialisation Support Fund.
The Seed Fund enables innovators to evaluate, demonstrate, and advance the value proposition and commercial potential of their research outputs. The Fund therefore contributes towards de-risking research outputs, increasing the pipeline for TIA and other funders.
The Technology Development Fund provides funding to advance technologies from proof of concept to technology demonstration. The Fund supports the development of technologies from proof concept leading to product prototype, and ultimately the demonstration thereof in an operational environment. The target market within the Fund includes higher education institutes, science councils, SMMEs, and start- up companies.
The Pre-Commercialisation Support Fund assists existing or potential individual entrepreneurs and SMMEs to obtain funding to support pre-commercialisation activities. This includes the development of production/service capacity to levels that will support operational sustainability. Furthermore, this includes market testing and validation of the technology in the potential customer environment, and bridging finance in preparation for commercialisation.
In order to deal with the effective implementation of these funds, TIA implemented pre- and post-investment processes to improve client management, turnaround times, and post-approval support to existing and new technology projects within the TIA portfolio.
Technology Innovation Agency Application Process
The applicant must at this stage submit a funding application via the online investment system. Funding applications are assessed with prescribed assessment criteria. When the full application has been submitted, an assessment is conducted to determine whether the application includes all the necessary information to proceed with the full assessment.
The due diligence stage involves opportunity evaluation in commercialisation, intellectual property, technical and legal. Deal structuring and a project execution plan are developed in this stage.
Approval of applications is subject to availability of funding. The TIA approving body approves applications that precede the full assessment stage.
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