After opening a new round of application in July 2022, the DISF has now met its target with regards to the number of projects onboarded in its current allocation of funding.

The DISF funds designers, inventors, entrepreneurs and product developers with pre-revenue innovative technologies and tech-enabled ideas and products on an 80:20 split. These individuals/businesses are not able to raise funds easily from traditional banks or funding agencies because of the high risk associated with early-stage innovations.

The DISF is a project of the Craft and Design Institute (CDI) with investment funds provided by the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and support from the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT). The DISF is managed by CDI Capital – CDI Capital is a niche emerging impact funder, and subsidiary of the CDI non-profit.

Earlier this year CDI Capital published an Impact Report which explored the cases of some of the local innovations supported to year-end 2021, and showed that the DISF seed funding also enabled the projects supported so far to generate R139m in further investment from public and private sources, and create 256 jobs. And as at the end of quarter two of 2022, the fund has now disbursed R3.47m in total in the current round of funding.

In the July 2022 application phase, CDI Capital received 156 applications, and has contracted the final two local innovations.

Ryan Rode, the manager of CDI Capital, says that the achievement of the targeted number of innovations onboarded and the impact of the funds is a credit to the team, who have put in a tremendous amount of work to ensure the selected local innovations get the support needed to kick on.

“We have some really exciting technologies and innovations in this round and are looking forward to their commercialisation. The large number of applications demonstrates the amazing potential we have in South Africa and the need for this funding.”

Read the Design Innovation Seed Fund Impact Report 2022 and discover how our grant funding has helped local innovators – click here.

Here’s what some of the funding recipients had to say:


“DISF funding facilitated by the CDI has been critical in enabling the development of BMEC’s Fusion surgical skills training system. With the assistance of the fund, BMEC was able to not only complete the development of a market ready system, but also run several market trials in a live surgical skills training environment. BMEC has received positive feedback from several clinicians that perfusion of cadavers is highly beneficial in teaching lifesaving blood management skills to healthcare practitioners.  BMEC has also assisted several of its clients to both apply for and manage their own CDI DISF funds. The CDI has been a pleasure to work with throughout the course of these projects which simply wouldn’t get off the ground without seed funding. We look forward to our next CDI DISF project.” – Heidi Wilson, BMEC,

Impulse Biomedical

Impulse Biomedical is a team of passionate engineers, scientists, metallurgists, and chemists who are rethinking medical devices to ease the challenge of access to lifesaving medical technology, for those who need it most. They received CDI DISF grant funding to further the research and development of the patented Easy Squeezy. This is an assistive device for asthma, aimed at reducing the force required to activate a conventional asthma pump, which children and the elderly have challenges using. They have also won multiple awards around the world and are determined to make an impact in patients’ lives.

Their project was selected for funding based on the novelty of their innovation, technical feasibility, economic viability and alignment with CDI’s goals. The funding enables the team to conduct clinical studies, meet regulatory requirements and start manufacturing – bringing Impulse much closer towards the commercialisation of Easy Squeezy, which is their goal.

According to Nomagugu Mthimunye (Operations Officer at Impulse Biomedical), “We are excited to be part of this funding initiative by the CDI, which is enabling us to bring our innovative medical device to the people who need it, locally and internationally. Thank you, CDI!”  Impulse Biomedical,

LIQID Medical

“Taking an idea from conceptualisation to commercialisation is one of the most daunting tasks any entrepreneur can face. This is especially true in the MedTech space which is further compounded by the challenges we face in a resource limited setting. The CDI and the DISF funding provided us with the support structures and early-stage funding we needed to successfully kick start our business and source critical follow-on funding. We have since managed to secure an additional $3m in grant and venture capital and have grown our team to now include ten highly skilled professionals. We are confident that we will be able to take on the global players in our industry and make a big impact in the fight against global blindness.” – Daemon McClunan, LIQID Medical,