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The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) was established in 2008 with the objective of stimulating technological innovation to improve economic growth by developing and exploiting technological innovations, and thus improving the quality of life for all South Africans.

TIA’s core business objective is to support the development and commercialization of competitive technology-based services and products. The Agency primarily uses South Africa’s science and technology base to develop new industries, create sustainable jobs and help diversify the economy. It seeks to support technological ideas moving along the technology innovation value chain, reducing risk and increasing the likelihood that products and services will enter social and economic markets.

Within this context, the TIA will provide funding, and other support, to persons developing and commercialising technologies, including start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises, large private companies.

It provides financial and non-financial support to its stakeholders, typically Science Councils, Public Entities, Higher Education Institutions, private research institutions and entrepreneurs. It invests primarily in the following sectors Advanced Manufacturing, Agriculture, Industrial Biotechnology, Health, Mining, Energy and ICT.

Funding Philosophy:

TIA will seek out and catalyse opportunities for investment funding where there exists:

  • Creative new technology based ideas for either new or improved product, processes or services; or

  • Existing technology based ideas for new or improved products, processes or services that can be further improved, developed and exploited by South Africans, whether directly or in collaboration with foreigners where a win-win partnership can be forged; or

  • Development of infrastructure and capacity that will reduce the barriers to technological innovation in South Africa; and The stage of development of the idea is beyond basic research and before production expansion; and Where there are insufficient other resources available to progress the opportunity.

Assessment Criteria:

TIA will assess investment opportunities regarding:

  • The current stage in the innovation chain and the planned path for innovation.

  • The potential attractiveness of the product or service in the targeted market.

  • The potential intensity of social and economic impact that the opportunity is likely to achieve including GDP growth and increased taxation revenue, meaningful job creation, increased and value added exports, increased competitiveness of industrial sectors, increase in highly skilled capacity and knowledge base, lowered net intellectual property cost, increased capabilities for technology innovation, solutions to national needs and improvement in quality of life, responsiveness to social and developmental needs including poverty alleviation.

  • Alignment with the TIA sector strategies and alignment with national policy.

  • The technical and commercial viability of the plan.

  • The ability of the team to implement the plan.

  • The extent of prior investment, partnership and leverage of other resources.

  • Prospect of promoting of BBBEE.

  • Investment risk and expected outcomes relative to the TIA portfolio.

  • Potential financial return.

  • Availability of funds.


At Funding Connection, we understand the complexities of the various funding agencies and the unique application criteria for each. We have assisted numerous entrepreneurs through the application process to access funds like this for business growth, and we can help you with the whole process.

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