The Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme (THRIP) by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to leverage collaborative partnerships between government and industry (working with academia) for research and development in science, engineering, and technology on a cost-sharing basis of up to R8 million, to produce highly-skilled human resources and technology solutions for improved industry competitiveness.
The objective of the Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme is to increase the number of people with appropriate skills in the development and management of research-based technology for industry. The objective will be achieved by implementing amongst others:
- Improved knowledge exchange and technology transfer through increased interaction and mobility among researchers in Higher Education Institutions (HEI’s), and Science, Engineering, and Technology Institutions (SETI’s), as well as technology personnel in industry;
- An increase in investment by industry and government, in research and technology development; and
- Technology transfer and product or process improvement or development, through research collaboration between enterprises (large and small), HEI’s, and SETI’s.
The Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme is awarded for the following:
- Applied research and innovation projects; and
- Registration and litigation cost of patents of strategic importance to the South African economy by entities in the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) sectors.
Priorities for Funding
- Support for projects within the sectors in the latest published version of IPAP. Each call will have a main focus on some of these sectors.
- Working to achieve equity with respect to beneficiaries from the Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme, specifically in terms of
- Gender and race of students and researchers; and
- Previously black HEI’s.
- Strengthening participation of B-BBEE;
- Strengthening participation of SMME’s.
Mandatory Conditions of the Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme
- The applicant must:
- Be a registered legal entity in South Africa in terms of the Companies Act, the Close Corporations Act, and the Co-operatives Act;
- Industry associations should also be registered;
- If the registration of the entity with the CIPC has not been finalised by the time the application is submitted, the applicant will be given a period of 2 months to submit their registration certificate.
- Have a partnership with at least one partner being a South African Research Institution:
- All South African public HEI’s;
- SETI’s; and
- National Research Facilities.
- The duration of the project must be equal to or more than the period of the THRIP project.
- The project must include at least 4 registered South African students at 4th year level of study or higher, in the SET fields, and must be involved and trained through the research being conducted. If 50 % or more of the South African black students are involved in a project, R50 000 per each South African student will be made available for a THRIP project to a maximum amount equivalent to the total qualifying cost.
- If the requirement above is met, for students from other countries involved in a THRIP project, a maximum amount of R25 000 per student will be provided for the project, to a maximum amount equivalent to the total qualifying cost.
- The research leader must have the appropriate post-graduate qualification and experience to lead the project and to supervise students up to postgraduate level.
- Applicants must submit a valid B-BBEE certificate of compliance in terms of the B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice. Applicants with a turnover of less than R10, 000, 000 may submit financial statements verified by an independent external auditor or accredited person.
- If the condition above is not met, the applying entity will be required to partner with at least one of the Historically Disadvantaged Institutions of South Africa; or
- If the partnership or collaboration is a tripartite between the industry, previously advantaged university and previously disadvantaged university, a plan of how the previously disadvantaged universities will be involved in the project should be submitted and the benefits must be defined, including transfer of skills and capabilities in terms of equipment management and operation.
Projects Qualifying for the Technology and Human Resources Industry Programme
- The project must be applied research in the fields of science, engineering, and / or technology whose outputs could make a significant contribution towards improving the applicant’s competitive edge;
- The project intention should be to innovate in terms of either of the following:
- should lead to the creation and transfer of new knowledge into a process or product (prototype), or
- the transfer of existing knowledge into a new process or product to benefit the applicant.
- The project must have clearly defined scientific and technology outputs, plus human resource outputs expected for each year of support;
- The project must demonstrate all of the following:
- causality (demonstrable output or outcome),
- implementation (the way in which the output / outcomes will be used by the applicant), and
- additionality (the degree to which the research would not have been undertaken without THRIP) that will follow from THRIP support.
- In case of applicants partnering with Historically Disadvantaged Institutions (HDI’s) as main research partners, projects with research activities spanning from basic towards applied research whose outputs could make a significant contribution towards improving the applicant’s competitive edge will be considered for funding.
Funding Criteria of the Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme
Additional special inclusions in a grant may be funding for Technology Innovation Promotion through the Transfer of People (TIPTOP) and for the cost for legal advice on the development of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) agreement.
- THRIP provides a maximum grant of R500, 000 per candidate per annum for transfer of knowledge through physical relocation of participants (researchers or technology managers) between the organisations involved in the projects (from the HEI or SETI to the industrial laboratories and vice versa) for a maximum period of 3 years in a funding cycle. The grant is based on the 50 % of the time spent on the THRIP project and linked to the salary of the candidate.
- The placement of SET graduates in companies approved for THRIP funding for a fixed contract of 2 years to work on the research or technology development projects within the firms or partnering research institutions in order to gain first hand relevant experience. These graduates should have a science, engineering or technology qualification and shall be paid a non-cost sharing (100 %) monthly stipend of R6, 000 (NDip graduates); R8, 000 (BTech / BSc graduates); R10, 000 (BSc Engineering / BSc Honours graduates); R12, 000 (MTech / MEng / MSc graduates); and R15, 000 (DTech / PhD graduates).
- THRIP provides support of once-off maximum grant of R50, 000 per project for the cost of legal advice on the development of an agreement on the treatment of intellectual property to approved applicants, and a maximum grant of R50, 000 (for each SMME involved in the project) that is collaborating with a large enterprise.
- Arrangements for the ownership and exploitation of intellectual property arising from a project must be agreed upon between the applicant and the HEI / SETI prior to commencement of the project. No funding will flow unless an agreement on IPR arrangements is in place.
- Cost for registration and litigation of patents.
Qualifying Costs of the Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme
- Technical / Research assistant remuneration (including post-doctoral fellows);
- Remuneration for the research leader at the HEI / SETI should not exceed 10 % of the THRIP budget and it must be in accordance with the HR policies of the institution;
- Specialist technical, scientific, consultation or contracting personnel (must not be employees of the HEI / SETI where the project is based or off the applicant);
- Contractor fees should not exceed 30 % of the total THRIP budget.
- Running costs and overheads:
- Overheads (e.g. fax, printing, and telephone) up to a maximum of 10 % of the total THRIP budget;
- Material / consumables.
- Local travel (including accommodation) up to a maximum of R20, 000 per annum.
- Local conferences and workshops should not constitute more than 3 % of the total THRIP budget.
- International travel (including accommodation) up to a maximum of R60, 000 per annum for attending workshops, conferences, and visiting experts and / or centres of specialisation essential for the project. Motivation representing the purpose, importance, and potential benefits of the travel arrangements of the project will be required. All flight tickets for local and international travel will be limited to economy class.
- An equipment management plan should be developed for all equipment valued at R500, 000 or more.
- THRIP will contribute non-cost sharing (100 %) bursary grant amount as follows:
- For PhD students participating in the THRIP project, a maximum of R200, 000 annually;
- For Masters students participating in the THRIP project, a maximum R150, 000 annually;
- For Honours / BTech students participating in the THRIP project, a maximum of R80, 000 annually.
- THRIP provides a once-off maximum grant of R50, 000 per project for the cost of legal advice on the development of an agreement on the treatment of intellectual property to approved applicants and a maximum grant of R50, 000 for each SMME involved in the project.
- IPR for the project must comply with project-relevant Provisions of the National Intellectual Property Management Office (NIPMO) and project relevant legislation such as the Copyright Act, Designs Act, Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Act, and Intellectual Property Law Rationalisation Act.
- Costs of registration and litigation of patents:
- Costs for registration of patents; and
- Costs of litigation of patents disputes by SMME’s against large and international enterprises capped at R1 million.
- Costs of registration and litigation of patents of strategic importance to the South African economy by entities in the manufacturing sector:
- Costs for registration of patents;
- Costs of litigation of patents disputes by SMME’s against large and international enterprises capped at R1 million; and
- Costs of litigation of patents disputes by black-owned large enterprises against other large and international enterprises ONLY capped at R1 million.
- VAT – all budget items must exclude VAT
- Rental of facilities of the HEI or SETI;
- Journal / literature subscription fees;
- Professional organisation subscription fees;
- In-kind contribution;
- Contributions from companies owned wholly or partly (less than or equal to 25 %) by the HEI / SETI receiving the grant;
- Donations; and
- Services and / or products (including salary costs) provided by the project’s industrial partners and their shareholders and / or employees (except through TIPTOP).
Grant Disbursement and Reporting
Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme funds will be disbursed according to agreed milestones between the DTI and the applicant over a maximum of a 3-year funding cycle.
The milestone payments will be subject to the satisfactory progress on the preceding milestone, and the use of funds as per the expenditure / cost plan thereof.
Applicants are required to submit the following reports:
- Satisfactory milestone progress reports, specifically addressing the deliverables as indicated in the project budget breakdown;
- Proof of expenditure against the project budget breakdown;
- Financial and audit reports;
- Final reports at the end of the project;
- Other reports that may be requested by the DTI; and
- Valid B-BBEE certificate of compliance or for applicants with turnover of below R10 million, financial statements verified by an independent external auditor, or accredited person.
Exclusions and Limitations of the Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme
Payments shall be made directly into the bank account of the approved applicant only. The name and addresses of the account holder must be the same as that of the applicant.
An exception can be made for large entities in that the DTI can consider making payments directly to the Research Partner’s banking account during contracting stage.
The following are inter alia considered a circumvention of THRIP guidelines, and will lead to the rejection of an application or claim:
- Manipulation of inter-company assets, products, services, and processes and any other action that, in the sole discretion of the DTI, can be regarded as circumvention to allow the entity, which otherwise would not have qualified, to qualify or get a higher benefit; and
- Any other action that, at the sole discretion of the DTI, can be regarded as circumvention to allow the entity, which otherwise would not have qualified or get a higher benefit, to qualify.
Decision Review Process
Any request to consider an increase or decrease or any other review of approved qualifying assets or costs, should be submitted to the DTI prior to submitting the first claim for that specific project.
Criminal, Misleading, Dishonest, and / or Irregular Activities
The DTI may, upon actual offence or suspicion of contravention of any act / investigation / pending litigation of any such activities, suspend payments that may be due or become due to an applicant. The DTI shall not be liable for any damages or interest, pending the finalisation of any forensic investigation and any criminal proceedings brought as a result of the investigation.
Findings of a forensic investigation indicating such activities will be sufficient to allow the DTI to cease all payments and reclaim any payments already made, with mora interest.
The DTI subscribes to the principles set out in the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (PRECCA). Applicants are requested to contact the DTI fraud hotline on 0800 701 701 to report any suspicious behaviour.
Responsibility rests on the applicant and any other person that may benefit from the scheme to disclose everything that may have an influence on the adjudication of the applicant and / or claim. Failure thereof will lead to termination, cancellation, or suspension of the application / claim and criminal prosecution and / or civil claim.
Monitoring, Evaluation, and Reporting
All approved applicants will be monitored to assess how THRIP is contributing towards the strategic objectives of the grant and its intended outcomes.
Monitoring information required from applicants will form part of the claim forms. Upon receiving the claim forms, the DTI will conduct site inspections with all the approved applicants to verify the requested information.
In addition to the site inspection visits at each claim stage, the DTI may conduct monitoring site visits, focus group sessions, and rapid appraisals as and when required. Approved applicants are required to participate in these processes which will result in reports being completed as part of these processes.
Approved applicants are also required to submit annual performance reports, up to a period of 3 years after the final claim has been paid.
Contact us for more information on how you can access the Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme.