Innovation support in South Africa

The South African government has introduced a variety of support mechanisms, both financial and non-financial, to promote innovation.

From innovations in large firms to innovation in small- and medium-sized enterprises, these mechanisms are helping to make it easier for firms to access the resources to push forward in their drive to improve their product and processes.

Acronyms | DST = Department of Science and Technology, TIA = Technology Innovation Agency, the dti = Department of Trade and Industry, NRF = National Research Foundation, CSIR = Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, IDC = Industrial Development Corporation, DBSB = Department of Small Business Development

SUPPORT MECHANISM | HOST INSTITUTION(S)  SUPPORT MECHANISM GOALS IN BRIEF
R&D Tax Incentive Programme | DST Offers a tax deduction to encourage locally registered businesses to invest in R&D in South Africa. The R&D tax incentive can be accessed by companies of all sizes and in all sectors undertaking R&D.
Industry Innovation Partnership (IiP) | DST Provides co-funding to support organised industry partners in their R&D and innovation initiatives. In this initiative, industry actors work together and decide on R&D programmes appropriate to enhancing their competitiveness.
Technology and Human Development Programme (THRIP) | the dti/NRF A triple-helix partnership programme of the dti that promotes collaboration between industry and academia/science councils, and enhances competitiveness in South African industries through new technology and skills generation.
Support Progamme for Industrial Innovation (SPII) | the dti Offers grants to all South African registered enterprises, in manufacturing or services, that are engaged in pre-competitive development activity leading to the commercialisation of the product, process, system or prototype being developed.
Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Programme | the dti/IDC Financial support in the form of loans to manufacturing companies to stimulate their competitiveness and ensure job retention in the sector.
Strategic Partnership Programme (SPP) | the dti  Develops and supports programmes or interventions aimed at enhancing the manufacturing and services capacity of suppliers with linkages to strategic partner supply chains, industries or sectors.
Seed Fund | DST/TIA Assists researchers from higher education institutions, science councils, technology entrepreneurs and SMMEs to advance their research outputs and ideas towards proof of concept, development of prototypes and business cases.
Technology Development Fund | DST/TIA Assists innovators from higher education institutions, science councils, SMMEs and start-ups to advance technologies along the innovation value chain, from proof of concept to prototyping to technology demonstration.
Commercialization Support Fund | DST/TIA Connects technology innovators from higher education institutions, science councils, SMMEs and start-ups to onward business and investment opportunities, and helps to prepare innovators for follow-on funding, through limited support for market testing and validation.
Technology Stations | DST/TIA A network of 18 centres with state-of-the-art equipment and experts in specialised fields located at universities of technology to provide science, engineering and technology services to SMMEs and entrepreneurs for product development, product improvement, prototype development and a range of other engineering services.
Technology Venture Capital | the dti/IDC Provides funding and business support to small companies at early stages of the commercialisation of innovative products, processes and technologies across all sectors which have the potential to make a significant developmental impact on the South African economy.
Technology  Localization  Programme | DST/CSIR Raises the capabilities of local manufacturing companies so that they can earn a share of
recapitalisation investments and, ultimately, enter export markets as competitive suppliers into the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) global supply chains.
Seda Technology Programme (Stp)| DSBD Provides financial and non-financial support to small enterprises through technology transfer, quality services and business incubation.

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