Developing Innovative Clean Technology SMEs In South Africa
The GCIP-SA is part of a global initiative aimed at promoting clean technology innovation and supporting entrepreneurs in growing their SMMEs and start-ups into viable, investment-ready businesses. In South Africa, the programme was incorporated into the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) on 1 January 2018, after four years as a donor-funded project. Founding partners were the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO – Project Developer and International Implementer), the Global Environment Facility (GEF – Funder) and TIA (National Implementer and Country Host). The main knowledge partner of the global programme is the USA-based Cleantech Open.
The key objective of the Global Cleantech Innovation Programme in South Africa (GCIP-SA) is to promote clean technology innovations and entrepreneurship in SMEs and start-ups in the country. The main indicators for success will be the increasing number of SMEs that pursue innovations in clean technologies; additional investment in clean technology innovations due to increased interest in the programme; the number of SMEs that participate as members of the national platform; and finally, the negative environmental impacts directly and indirectly avoided through the application of the supported Cleantech innovations.
The GCIP-SA is an annual competition-based business accelerator offering participants extensive training and mentoring to help them get their products investment-ready, and connect them to networks of local and international peers as well as potential partners and funders.
The programme primarily aims to promote a cleantech innovation ecosystem in South Africa by:
- assisting in the identification and early stage nurturing of the most promising innovative local clean technologies;
- coordinating and collaborating with various existing and planned national programmes, funds, competitions etc. relating to the promotion and development of clean technologies, and providing pre-selected candidates and applicants for them and seeking similar benefits from them;
- facilitating the local and global linkage and networking of the most promising start-ups of South Africa with mentors and potential business partners.
The GCIP continuously enables and stimulates a culture of innovation amongst serious “green technology innovators” and it has been evident during its existence, that it positively contributes to the promotion and strengthening of a vibrant National System of Innovation (NSI). The programme also contributes to TIA’s initiatives in the Bio-economy by accelerating companies in the waste and water economies, whilst also training teams over a four-month period in Business Model Development and Validation.
The programme actively looks to support its alumni towards commercialisation and also contributes to TIA’s IES Enterprise Development Support efforts.
Click here to download the Brochure