Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) Seed Fund Programme
The TIA Seed Fund objective is to assist innovators at higher education institutions and Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs) to advance their research outputs and ideas to develop prototypes, proof of concepts and business cases.
TIA's Seed Fund is targeted at innovators at higher education institutions, science councils/public research institutions and SMMEs. The Seed Fund funds the following activities; TIA has a three-stage application process, 1) the submission of a Statement of Interest and Basic Assessment, 2) full assessment and 3) approval. Prototype development, sourcing of Intellectual Property (IP) opinions, production of market samples, refining and implementing designs, conducting field studies, support of certification activities, piloting and scale-up and techno-economic evaluation, detailed primary market research and business plan development (Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 3 - 7). The seed funding can only be accessed through the relevant Tech Transfer Offices (TTOs) at the various higher education institutions (HEIs). Grant funding up to R 650 thousand per application and eligible applicants will work through the relevant seed fund partner. TTOs manage the funds with involvement of the seed fund committee. Staff employed by HEIs cannot be paid, and no bursaries or employment of students is permitted, except for defined project hours. The programme allows for Human Capacity Development (HCD).
The seed fund funds the following activities; initial proof of concept, prototype development, sourcing of IP opinions, production of market samples, refining and implementing designs, conducting field studies, support of certification activities, piloting and scale-up and techno-economic evaluation, detailed primary market research and business plan development.
To apply for the seed funding, innovators should contact the TTOs at the relevant university, or their local regional development agency. The online application is not available for the seed fund.
TIA will assess the attractiveness and suitability of project opportunities in terms of (among
i. the innovativeness of the technology and/or envisaged product/process/service;
ii. the current stage of technology development (TRL);
iii. the planned path of innovation;
iv. the feasibility and viability of the technology being developed;
v. the attractiveness of the product or service in the targeted market;
vi. the viability of the business model;
vii. the structure and processes required to commercialise;
viii. the competence, capability and readiness of the team or entity to commercialise the
TIA has a three-stage application process; the submission of a Statement of Interest and basic
assessment, full assessment, and approval.