R33 Million Grant Application Opens for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises In South Africa

By | January 26, 2022

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.


  • 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 the 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.

SECTOR FOCUS 2018/2019: 

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


  • 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.


  • 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:

  • 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.


  • 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 the application button.
APPLICATIONS OPEN: 27 November 2017
DEADLINE: 31 December 2017
For queries please contact: Ryan Rode – [email protected]