Technology Innovation Agency South Africa
Grassroots Innovation
Innovation Support

The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) an entity of the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) is calling for applications from grassroots innovators looking for funding, technical assistance and support for developing a new product or process up to prototype and proof of concept stage. A grassroots innovator is defined as “an individual who undertakes innovations to solve local challenges using local resources and capabilities through working outside the realm of formal innovation institution”.

Support Package on Offer

  • Intellectual Property Registration
  • Industry compliance and certification
  • Product and technical development expertise, design prototyping infrastructure & hard/software materials
  • Production of a prototype
  • Business development training and support
  • Networking, mentorship and market access activities

How To Apply; 

Prepare and upload as part of application:

  • A three-minute video (name and surname of the innovator, the overview of the innovation, show prototype if it exists, and what the funding will be used for)
  • Pitch deck
  • Proof of residence

Click here to apply - Application form CC2_GIP_Zululand

Full description

Who Can Apply?

  • South African citizens of any age (ID copy required)
  • Individuals residing in the following local municipalities: eDumbe, uPhongolo, Abaqulusi, Nongoma and Ulundi
  • (proof of residence required)
  • Individual (or representing a team) with an innovative solution that solves a clear social problem
  • Individuals must meet the criteria of a grassroots innovator
  • Have full ownership of the Intellectual Property and rights to the proposed solution
  • Applicants who do not have ready access to innovation development support, infrastructure, funding or training
  • Is willing to commit time to the programme activities for a maximum period of 24 months

Minimum Requirements

  • The stage of development of the solution
  • Innovation in the use of technology and the quality of the solution to solving the problem
  • Technical and financial feasibility of developing the solution
  • Demonstration of clear social impact for a targeted market
  • Whether a vision for the commercialisation viability of the innovation has been articulated

Fundable Activities

  • Development and production of fully functional prototypes of product innovations responding to social
  • challenges
  • Skills training and business development incubation and mentorship
  • Specialised equipment that is within the budget constraints and required to enable innovation activities
  • Introduction of a proof of concept where a viable business case can be demonstrated
  • Registration of new enterprises or attaining compliance of already registered enterprises
  • Registration of intellectual property rights, copyright and trademark protection and licensing
  • Personal and travelling stipend to the innovators in support of the development of their innovation
Closing date
Agriculture, forestry and fishing
​Mining and quarrying
​Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply
Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities
​Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles
​Transportation and storage
​Information and communication
Financial and insurance activities
Professional, scientific and technical activities
Human health and social work activities

Brochures and other documents