The Technology Innovation Agency

TIA is a national public entity that serves as the key institutional intervention to bridge the innovation chasm between research and development from higher education institutions, science councils, public entities, and private sector, and commercialisation.


To be a world-class leading technology innovation agency that stimulates and supports technological innovation to improve the quality of life for all South Africans.


To facilitate the translation of South Africa’s knowledge resource into sustainable socio-economic opportunities.


  • To position TIA as a thought leader in technological innovation in South Africa.
  • To provide South Africa with appropriate and effective support for innovation with high social and economic impact.
  • To support and enhance technological innovation in Africa and globally through partnership initiatives.


The mandate of TIA is derived from the provisions of the Technology Innovation Act (Act 26 of 2008), which establishes TIA to promote the development and exploitation, in the public interest, of discoveries, inventions, innovations and improvements. The object of TIA is to support the State in stimulating and intensifying technological innovation in order to improve economic growth and the quality of life of all South Africans by developing and exploiting technological innovations.

Strategic roles

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.