DISF explained

INNOVATION FUND: DESIGN INNOVATION SEED FUND (DISF)

Applications are currently closed.

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.
  • SMMEs must have a valid Tax Clearance Certificate for the company or individual applying in their own capacity
  • 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 2019/2020: 

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

IN ADDITION:

  • Only fully completed applications will be considered
  • No company or individual can access more than R800 000 of the fund
  • Fund allocations will be made on an activity/intervention basis linked to co-developed delivery milestones
  • Applicants must be familiar with the Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Financed Research and Development Act, 2008 (Act 51 of 2008) and understand the implications of this Act on intellectual property derived from projects funded by TIA; primarily the Institutions’ Rights in terms of the Act. Please see the IPR Act 2008 Act 51 of 2008
  • Potential to create competitive, new protected or protectable intellectual property, no basic research, must be between TRL 3 to 7
  • 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.
  • The DISF Seed Fund Beneficiary acknowledges that should the project technology be commercialized, TIA will have the right, but not the obligation to claim royalties which shall be subject to negotiation with the individual project / Seed Fund Beneficiary (however, exceptions will be motivated per project commercial merit and socio-economic impact).
  • No staff member or associate of the CDI or TIA may apply
  • CDI funding decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into

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.

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


The support from DISF has been incredible. It has been amazing to have them involved in our journey as we both commercialise
and improve healthcare in South Africa and in the future beyond.

William Mapham, Vula Mobile

As a team, we cannot stress the value that the DISF grant has been able to unlock for our social innovation. The grant has given us the ability to test and validify both business and operational model assumptions in a real world setting with our beneficiaries. As a result, this process has ensured that our product provides a meaningful and relevant impact to its intended beneficiaries. Furthermore, the grant has already de-risked our business substantially as an investment opportunity which will yield tremendous impact into the future. EveryChild is deeply grateful to have received this opportunity.
Lauren Drake, EveryChild

Simply put, projects like this would not get off the ground without the support of the DISF fund and we look forward to the GIS delivering on the fund’s objective to create sustainable IP that contributes to the socioeconomic development of South Africa.
Raphael Smith, BMEC Technologies

The project achieved all of the milestones we set out to achieve – we designed, built and deployed a working product and took it to market. What started as an idea has become a real product and we now have interest not only from within South Africa but from organisations around the world. We have both a small set of users and very big dreams for how to scale and innovate as we grow. The future is bright for Legal Connection and we’re looking to be the biggest and most useful legal technology product in the world.
Guy Stern, Legal Connection


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