The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), an entity of the Department of Science and Technology, has established the Youth Technology Innovation Fund (YTIF), set up to assist young innovators in need of funding, mentorship and business support.
This fund aims to promote and stimulate the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship amongst the young people by providing access to financial and business support resources. It will be offered to researchers from science councils and higher education institutions, individuals, students and school leavers.
“Our aim is to see South African innovations through from research stage to commercialisation. By aiming at young people we are hoping to tap into cutting edge innovations and technologies to find solutions to South African challenges while boosting the economy,” says Dr Margaret Mkhosi, General Manager: Special Projects at TIA.
The YTIF is an addition to the regular services that TIA offers and is targeted at young people between the ages of18 to 30 not already funded through the normal TIA process. The application process is detailed on the TIA website (www.tia.org.za), where the registration form and proposal template can be obtained.
The fund will offer successful applicants services such as the use of the SABS services for product certification; business coaching; use of TIA Technology Stations and Platforms; incubation services at recognised TIA partner organisations for up to two years, and intellectual property protection.
“We are excited to introduce this fund as we believe that it is vital for the country to encourage a new crop of researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs. This will also bolster human capacity development in our quest to create a knowledge economy driven by innovation,” concludes Dr Mkhosi.