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DISF 2018-02-27T12:56:58+00:00

DISF explained

INNOVATION FUND: DESIGN INNOVATION SEED FUND (DISF)

The Design Innovation Seed Fund (DISF) is in its third round of accepting early stage grant funding proposals limited to a maximum of R650 000. The Design Innovation Seed Fund is part of the CDI’s three-year Jobs Fund project, funded by the National Treasury through the Government Technical Advisory Centre (GTAC), the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and the Western Cape Department of Economic Development And Tourism (DEDAT).

The Fund is inviting individuals and SMEs with pre-revenue innovative technologies and tech-enabled ideas and products within specific sectors to apply.

While all applications that comply with the criteria of the fund will be considered, the following areas within these sectors will receive preference.

DISF CRITERIA – THIS FUND IS OPEN TO:

  • Western Cape based early-stage small and medium enterprises/entrepreneurs/researchers
  • Students at Western Cape tertiary institutions as long as the institution does not already have an Intellectual Property claim to the product/service. Please consult institution’s Intellectual Property policy
  • Pre-revenue businesses in incubation or entering incubation OR
  • Existing SMEs with new products/innovation that is still pre-revenue.
  • South African citizens with valid South African Identity Documents or legal entities controlled by South African citizens with valid South African Identity Documents or permanent residents who hold a valid RSA ID document.

SECTOR FOCUS 2018/2019: 

  • Agriprocessing
  • Biotechnology
  • Health
  • Manufacturing
  • Water Conservation
  • Alternative Building Materials
  • Wild Card* (*projects outside these sectors can be considered)

APPLICANTS NEED TO DEMONSTRATE SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE OF:

  • Innovation in design, technology and/or the application thereof
  • Market appetite or sufficient evidence of market potential
  • Competitive advantage
  • Management team capability to drive the process.

THE BUSINESS/PRODUCT/IDEA NEEDS TO:

  • Have a knowledge focus
  • Include technological innovation/design
  • Should not easily be able to raise funds from traditional banks or funding agencies because of the inherent risks involved
  • Strong preference will be given to businesses that have at least 25% black ownership and/or have good job creation potential.

The rules of the fund are as follows:

ALL APPLICATIONS MUST:

  • Declare all IP rights on the innovation, the implications thereof and/or show freedom to operate
  • Be tax compliant
  • Be prepared to match 20% of the contribution of the Fund through cash contributions
  • Show the design development process and how this has been informed by customer needs
  • Be prepared to sign a contract and report on progress and impact to the Fund administrators on a quarterly basis during and for a defined period after the project completion.

IN ADDITION:

  • Only fully completed applications will be considered
  • No company or individual can access more than R650 000 of the fund
  • Fund allocations will be made on an activity/intervention basis linked to co-developed delivery milestones
  • All IP rights remain with the applicant
  • TIA retains the right of first refusal to support further technological development, as informed by the outcomes of the DISF seed funding, and TIA’s own criteria
  • No staff member or associate of the CDI or TIA may apply
  • CDI funding decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into

Online applications can be made on this page – see below for application button.

APPLICATIONS OPEN: 27 November 2017
DEADLINE: 31 December 2017
For queries please contact: Ryan Rode – ryan.rode@thecdi.org.za

THE GRANT CAN BE USED FOR:

  • Conducting field studies
  • Initial proof of concept
  • Refining and implementing designs
  • Prototype development/improvement
  • Production and process development
  • Production of market samples and/or associated testing, analytical data and method development and specification sheet development
  • Detailed primary market research or specialist consulting including use of CDI resources
  • IP opinions and support
  • Support of certification activities
  • Piloting, scale-up & techno-economic evaluation
  • Business plan development
  • Incubation support from the CDI

NON-FINANCIAL SUPPORT INCLUDES ACCESS TO:

  • HR, legal and financial expertise
  • Business development training
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Prototyping/sampling facilities and expertise
  • Market platforms to test market-ready product

The grant may not be used for: 

  • Working capital
  • Operational expenses; and
  • The purchasing of equipment that is not within the applicant’s scope of work pertaining to the allowable activities and objective of their application.
Please note: Applications are now closed

FUND APPLICATION PROCESS

Fund application flowchart

“We wanted to take this to the next level, there was a real problem that we could solve. The DISF gave us a bit of breathing room to work on a creative design-driven project that has resulted in a project we are starting to use every day now.” – Justin Coetzee, GoMetro

FIND OUT WHAT SOME OF OUR PREVIOUS DISF RECIPIENTS HAVE TO SAY

Sea Monster
Forge Technologies
iCOMPLY

“As entrepreneurs we speak the language of ideation to commercialisation as part of our pitches without seeing how the dots connect. The DISF and the process followed helps one to focus and unpack this.” – Dr Carol Thomas, iMobiMama



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