The South African Government, through the Department of Science and Technology (DST), has signed an agreement with UK-based Global Innovation Fund (GIF) to support innovations dealing with major health and social issues.
The agreement, which will last three years, will both partners co-invest in GIF-selected innovations that are in line with key strategic priorities for the country.
The Department will make available grants of up to R15 million for the duration of the agreement.
ʺThis partnership fits in snugly with the work that the Department is already engaged in around scaling and testing local innovations that lead to an improved quality of life for poor South Africans,ʺ said Mr Imraan Patel, DST’s Deputy Director-General, Socio-economic Innovation Partnerships.
He added, ʺI am certain that there is a lot we will learn from the GIF, and it, too, will learn from South Africa.”
Already, over 500 organisations in South Africa and across the continent have responded to a global call for submission of proposals for innovations addressing major health and social issues.
The proposals will be reviewed by an independent panel of experts, with the best innovations selected and provided access to risk capital to develop their innovation.
GIF’s Chief Executive, Dr Alix Zwane said, “Working with the DST, we will find, pilot, test and scale promising new African-led or African-focused approaches to dealing with major health and social issues on the continent,ʺ
ʺI hope that this new sub-fund will challenge South African entrepreneurs to think about new solutions to benefit the poorest people in society,” she added.