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Technology Transfer  


The Seda Technology Programme (STP) provides a range of services that enables industry, and in particular small enterprises in the 2nd Economy, to access and transfer appropriate technology.

One of the offerings of STP is the Technology Transfer Fund that aims to assist micro- and small enterprises in the second economy to grow. The Fund has defined the “2nd Economy”, as broadly referring to informal, marginalized, unskilled to semi-skilled, and those unemployable in the formal sector, who cannot afford to finance appropriate technology to help them grow and propel them into the mainstream economy.

A further offering is Technology Access, through the creation of opportunities for technology exchange and innovation dissemination, facilitating the introduction to appropriate technology and intellectual property, networking and forming of partnerships when appropriate.


The Technology Transfer Unit promotes and facilitates the transfer of technology, which is appropriate, effective and competitive, irrespective of race and gender, although preference will be given to women-owned and operational manufacturing enterprises.

The aim of Technology Access is to enhance the national and international competitive ability of small businesses. Opportunities are non-financial and pursued through linking with a technology transfer network, consisting of Technology Transfer Offices, universities, research institutions, science councils, intellectual property and innovation agencies, local and international industrial technology suppliers.

The aim of the Technology Transfer Fund is to achieve return on investment of the Fund by creating sustainable jobs, which drive the national economy. The amount of funding annually available is limited. Applications are thus screened and prioritised, with only the projects having the highest impact on job creation gaining potential for approval by the audited adjudication panel.

Funding Considerations

The focus of the Technology Transfer Fund is on the core of the economy, namely the manufacturing sector, and the ability of an enterprise to grow and create jobs in this sector. It is required that an applicant provides evidence of ability to create jobs, that there are existing products with proven demand in the market, and to demonstrate how these markets are accessed. Approved applicants are required to commit by contract into 4 years of continuous performance monitoring to deliver return on the investment of the Fund.

The Fund is open to receive applications between April and June each year. The Fund receives very many applications annually, and the estimated waiting period for adjudication is approximately 12 months after application, depending on the availability of funding. The waiting period includes registration, screening, assessment and adjudication; before contracting, supplier vetting and procurement processes can start.

When an applicant is approved for funding, it should be noted that the approved disbursement will be paid directly to suppliers who are vetted and registered on the national Seda database as well as the Treasury Central Supplier Database. No cash will be available.

Qualifying criteria for application have been put in place and sectors falling outside the scope have also been identified, as follows.

Fund Qualifying Criteria – evidence and documents to be submitted

  1. The entity should have access to secure premises and appropriate infrastructure
  2. The service or product must have been fully developed and proof of a viable market must be provided
  3. Proof of business registration must be provided
  4. A Business Plan and market access plans and projections should be available
  5. Owners must have basic industry knowledge and skills
  6. Fully completed application forms

Only complete applications will be accepted for registration, to allow proceeding to assessment.

Sectors that are in the scope of the Fund policy:

  • All competitive manufacturing and processing sectors with high product demand
  • Some service-related industries, that have a manufacturing component

Sectors that fall outside the scope of the Fund policy:

  • Retail trade
  • Sales
  • Personal care
  • Cleaning, dry cleaning and gardening services
  • Toilet paper manufacturing
  • Legal services, support or training
  • Financial services, support or training
  • Entertainment, including events management and related sectors
  • All types of consulting services
  • Registration of patents or prototypes

Activities that are not assisted by the Fund:

  • Research and development of technology
  • Franchise agreements
  • Costs pertaining to other parties e.g. licensee or licensor
  • Patenting and Trademarking
  • Annual license payments and ongoing license fees
  • Marketing and market feasibility studies
  • Business systems unrelated to the manufacturing and service technologies
  • Buildings, roads. Vehicles or major civil works
  • High voltage supply, main water supply or other major supplies
  • All costs not directly related to the acquisition or selling of technology
  • Staff salaries or working capital
  • Re-imbursement of a client who has used their own money to acquire a particular technology before or after the approval of their application.

Products need to exist, with proven demand in the market. Thus, prototype development and testing, development of software and “apps”, and assistance with commercialisation processes are not sponsored. Raw materials, trading stock, or any other goods normally requiring working capital are also not funded.

Funding approval and conditions

A maximum amount of R600 000 can be requested, and needs to be motivated by demonstrating return on investment. The higher the amount applied for, the more capable the business and its cash-flow needs to be, and the more impact is expected in return.

There is a sliding scale in terms of the amount applied for and the contribution by the client:

 Amount applied for including VAT  % Contribution by the client
 R1 up to R150 000  0% contribution
 R150 001 up to R600 000  10% contribution

Please note that there is a rigorous evaluation process to assess impact and return on investment. Applications are not automatically approved. Approved applicants will also be required to pay their contribution first before Seda will release any payments.


Should you require further information about the Fund, please contact your nearest Seda branch for assistance. See list of branches on the website