The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) in partnership with the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) is pleased to announce a call for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) to host the Industrial Biocatalysis Hub (IBH). The DSI has identified biocatalysis (the application of microorganisms and enzymes in industrial production processes) as one of the key enabling technologies to support the development of a sustainable industrial bioeconomy sector in South Africa. The DSI recognises the need for a long-term investment in the development of biocatalysis capabilities in the country in order to:
- Support a biocatalysis technology value chain that will increase the chances of commercial success for biotechnology and chemistry processes;
- Develop new cutting edge biocatalysis technologies with the objective of enhancing industrial competitiveness and encourage private sector investment in biocatalysis technologies.
- Establish active and long-term partnerships with industry to encourage the licensing, successful technology implementation and commercialisation of Biocatalysis RDI outputs;
- Create a platform for institutional relationships, collaborations and industry partnerships to facilitate technology uptake by Industry and
- Develop human capital that can be absorbed by the industry.
It is under this premise that the DSI intends to establish industry-facing research and innovation instruments to build biocatalysis capabilities as well as a critical workforce with relevant skills base as required by a number of key sectors (chemicals, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and fragrance industries etc.), that can benefit from biocatalytic synthetic processes.
The closing date for submission of EOIs is 15 August 2020 (late submissions will not be accepted). For any queries relating to this EOI please contact Samkelisiwe Mathonsi at (IBHCall@tia.org.za).