TIA will scout for new ideas through a number of mechanisms, including those it has not exploited before such as open innovation initiatives, and will play the following strategic roles within the NSI in response to current gaps and weaknesses in the system:
- A connector: catalyse partnerships between SMMEs, industries, universities and science councils to develop an enabled environment supporting sector-specific innovations for global competitiveness.
- An active funder: provide risk funding and support for innovators to progress ideas towards market entry and commercialisation.
- A facilitator: attract and facilitate late-stage funding (companies, industries, venture capital firms, and development finance institutions) for the commercialisation of market ready technologies.
- A service provider: reduce barriers of access to expensive high-end skills and equipment for innovators by repositioning Technology Stations and Platforms. TIA’s specific role in this regard is to fund and support host institutions to provide relevant service offerings.
- Technological innovation thought leader: TIA is continually gathering valuable intellectual capital on best practice in technology innovation. This has strengthened the capability of the Agency to inform and provide advice on policy issues, frameworks and mechanisms relating to the advancement of technology innovation.