As COVID-19 infection and morbidity rates increase around the globe, a number of companies and academic institutions have entered the race to develop a vaccine to protect us from the lethal virus. Creating a vaccine is, however, a complex process and could take several months, if not years.
The South African national shutdown commenced on 27 March 2020 and will continue for 21 days. During this period RC&I staff will be working remotely and essentially all functions will be operating as normal.
The SA SME Fund recently launched the University Technology Fund (UTF), a first of its kind in Africa. The University of Cape Town (UCT) and Stellenbosch University are the first two universities that will participate in the fund, which will provide UCT spin-off companies with access to R50 million, as well as additional seed funding to support innovation projects within the university.
UCT launched the Innovation Builder Fund (IBF) in 2019 with the inaugural call for applications in the second semester. The IBF aims to fund projects to further develop and test preliminary research outputs from UCT where initial proof of concept has been demonstrated using research funding with the goal of increase the commercialisation of UCT technologies, or to better position them for next-round innovation funding. Funding of up to R500 000 per project is considered.