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TIA increases seed funding per applicant to R650 000 for innovative projects

Looking to fund your innovative idea? The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) has increased the amount in seed funding that entrepreneurs and innovators that develop innovative solutions can access – from R500 000 to R650 000 per project.

TIA’s head of technology stations and IATs, Vusi Skosana, yesterday confirmed the increase per application, following an emailed enquiry from Ventureburn.

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The seed fund, which the agency launched in 2013, has two streams – one that channels seed funding through technology transfer centres at universities and science centres to innovative projects and another that works with a number of small business support organisations in provinces to disburse funding to entrepreneurs.

Skosana said the increase per application applied to both streams.

There are currently nine organisations involved in the small business support organisations stream, namely: The Innovation Hub, ECDC, Invotech, SmartXchangeFree State Development Corporation, Limpopo Economic Development Agency, CCDI, Savant and Propella.

TIA head says the increase per application will affect all seed fund implementation partners in both streams

In May the Cape Craft and Design Institute (CCDI) announced the names of seven biotech and agricultural projects selected for the organisation’s second round of seed funding. Each will receive seed funding of up to R500 000 from the CCDI in partnership with the TIA seed fund and the Western Cape government’s Department of Economic Development.

Read more: CCDI to back seven innovative Cape projects in second round of seed fund

Skosana said agreements with two of these organisations are currently being reviewed with the idea of amending these to extend or do new contracts.

In May he revealed that the agency’s seed fund had so far supported 324 university projects with R142-million and 104 small business projects with R37-million.

He told Ventureburn yesterday that TIA will officially release statistics on the number and value of projects funded for the 2016/17 financial year as part of the agency’s annual report which will be tabled shortly in Parliament.

In addition, he said as part of an ongoing independent evaluation and impact study, TIA aims to publish a booklet by the end of September on success stories from the Seed Fund.

To access the seed fund applicants must apply via one of the nine current organisations involved in the small business organisations sub-programme or via a technology transfer office at one of South Africa’s universities or research councils. For more information go here.

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