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UCT Pre-Seed Fund

Launched in 2008, the RCIPS Pre-Seed Fund aims to provide hard-to-get financial support for early stage development and to bridge the funding gap that exists in the innovation chain, before other funding streams can be accessed (such as the Innovation Fund, Biotechnology Regional Innovation Centr es (BRICS), IDC, venture capital, etc.) or to enable a rounded technology package to be developed that can be licensed.

Two levels of funding Explorer and Concept are available to UCT staff and students (supervised by a staff member).

Explorer Funding

Explorer funding of up to R20,000 is available for short projects of up to 4 months in duration. Typical activities funded include:

  • preliminary market research
  • accessing market reports
  • gathering information that will assist the development and writing of business plans
  • conducting detailed intellectual property assessments
  • obtaining consultancy from experts or specialists
  • production of prototypes
  • production of market samples

Prior to completing and submitting a proposal contact Pre-Seed Project Manager, Francois Oosthuizen (021 650 1867) to discuss your planned project. There are no specific deadlines for applications and proposals can be submitted at any stage of the year, using the template. RCIPS will review the applications and award funds on an ongoing basis up to a limit of R100,000 per annum. Download the Explorer Funding Application Template above right. Review the detailed criteria for the Pre-Seed Funding in the downloadable document above right to ensure that you qualify.

Concept Funding

Concept funding of up to R100,000 per project is available (larger amounts may be considered depending on special circumstances and motivation) for projects of up to 12 months in duration. Eligible activities include:

  • refining and implementing designs
  • verifying applications
  • conducting field studies
  • preparing demonstrations
  • demonstrating proof-on-concept
  • Prototype development, or production of market samples
  • Certification
  • Piloting and scale-up
  • Technology development (development of a comprehensive technology package demonstrating aspects such as reproducibility, use of commercially available feedstock, raw materials or parts)

The closing dates for submission of Concept Funding proposals for 2016 are: 29 January; 30 March; 1 July; 30 September. Proposals will be reviewed an Advisory Committee comprised of university leaders/experts who are not directly involved with the technology. The Advisory Committee may request an interview with the applicant before making a final decision on the proposal. A total of R 400,000 is made available for Concept Fund awards per annum.

Prior to completing and submitting a proposal contact the Project Manager, Francois Oosthuizen (021 650 1867) to discuss your planned project.

Download the Concept Funding Application Template as well as the detailed criteria for the Pre-Seed Funding above right to ensure that your project qualifies.