Applications open for Southern Africa Innovation Support Programme


The Research Institute for Innovation and Sustainability (RIIS) and the Botswana Institute for Technology, Research and Innovation (BITRI) have launched the second Southern Africa Innovation Support Programme.

Aimed at addressing challenges in the health, education, agriculture and tourism sectors through open innovation in the SADC region, the Southern Africa Innovation Support Programme is funded by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. 

The first two challenges will focus on the agriculture and tourism sectors, with the first concentrating on ensuring food security for the future of Africa, and the second aiming to empower women in tourism, lowering the prevailing tourism-spend ratio between large and small tourism players, and recreate “Brand Africa”.

“This whole programme is designed to foster collaboration which will enable innovation that crosses borders. By using the open innovation approach, entrepreneurs from all walks of life and means are provided with a platform into the market,” said RIIS executive Clen Cook. 

“We encourage all who want to help address the challenges we face in the SADC region to participate. Through RIIS, BITRI and SAIS we will do our part through the provision of extensive support, training and development, as well as potential access to funds, to make all start-ups identified in these challenges a success.”


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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