Council for Scientific and Industrial Research South Africa
Innovation networks
Feasibility studies
Baseline studies
Call for Proposal
Regional innovation

The Regional Innovation Support Programme (RISP) invites participants to submit  proposals for the following two separate and independent elements: 

  1. Regional Innovation Networking platforms aimed at establishing networking platforms to bring together research, development and innovation communities, technology SMMEs, industry and government.
  2. Feasibility study or business plan support support for innovation enabling mechanisms such as:
    a. Science and Technology Parks, Techno Parks, Innovation Hubs, Tech Hubs or other similar concepts.
    b. Other innovation enabling mechanisms and initiatives.

Click here to submit a proposal. 

Full description

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 the 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 travelling, 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.


Closing date
Professional, scientific and technical activities
Business Method/Process Innovation
Administrative and support service activities
Service Delivery Innovation and Innovative Services