Proposals are hereby invited for the following three separate and independent elements within the Regional Innovation Support Programme:
- Regional Innovation Networking platforms aimed at establishing networking platforms to bring together research, development and innovation communities, technology SMMEs, industry and government.
- Feasibility study or business plan support for innovation enabling mechanisms such as:
- Science and Technology Parks, Techno Parks, Innovation Hubs or other similar concepts.
- Other innovation enabling mechanisms and initiatives.
- Innovation Baseline Studies to assess and analyse the status of Regional Innovation Systems (RISs), in a particular location, in terms of their effectiveness and readiness to promote and support innovation in the regions (including provinces and local municipalities).
The proposed project must include at least one of the following (as separate proposals):
Regional Innovation Networking Platforms are aimed at strengthening regional/rural innovation systems by establishing Networking and Collaboration Platforms that brings together research, development, innovation communities/civil society, technology SMMEs, industry and government. These platforms should take advantage of their spatial closeness of different innovation actors (with complementary knowledge and resources) and create a favourable environment for:
- Harnessing Science, Technology & Innovation (STI) for socio-economic development.
- Promoting, supporting and mentoring technology based technology SMMEs through implementation of innovation-driven activities.
- Initiating and implementing prospective innovation driven projects, programmes and initiatives directed at spurring their regional economies, industrialisation, regional capacity development and creation of job opportunities.
- Enabling innovation, including capacitating stakeholders with respect to innovation.
- Promoting inclusive economic growth.
The proposals must clearly articulate the following minimum requirements for Regional Innovation Networking Platforms:
1. Situational Assessment (relevant to innovation).
2. Mechanisms for meaningful participation of previously disadvantaged individuals, including businesses owned by females and people living with disabilities.
3. The platform’s Geographic Spread of Development.
4. Mechanisms for meaningful participation of knowledge partners (innovators, universities, science councils, STI institutions etc.), government (provincial/local), innovation communities (civil society) and industry.
5. Demonstrate support towards and development of economic sectors, taking into account social impact and new areas of growth.
6. Co-funding contribution, preferably in cash, from local or regional partner(s).
7. Structured and relevant STI capacity buildings programmes (training, networking, mentorship, workshops, conferences etc.) to enable improved innovation driven industrial competitiveness. Financial support will not cover the cost of international conferences and traveling, as well as business incubation activities or general SMME development services (such as financial management, accounting, human resources, customer care, report writing, business writing skills etc.)
8. Support mechanisms for improved innovation partnership deals (e.g. access to information, business strategy, legal/IP templates, funding proposals).
9. Demonstrate alignment, linkages and awareness to Provincial and Local development plans and strategies.
10. Promote partnerships and collaborations, including securing co-funding.
11. The proposal must map out stakeholders to constitute the Platform Steering Committee (consisting of various regional stakeholders) and Lead Institution (applicant and the Platform host). This must include contributions and responsibilities (financial or/and non-financial) of each stakeholder, accompanied by a signed letter of support and commitment.
12. The proposal should outline how the applicant’s initiative would leverage the relevant innovation mechanisms and instruments.
13. A detailed budget breakdown must be submitted by the applicant, including sources of co-funding and its related expenses.
Download the RISP Call for Proposals here