RESEARCH GRANTS TO BOOST AGRO PROCESSING INDUSTRY
The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), which manages the Agro Processing Competitiveness Fund (APCF) on behalf of the Economic Development Department, is calling for expressions of interest for research grants. The APCF Research Grant, with a total investment of R12.5 million, was established to help boost competitiveness, growth,job creation and development in the agro-processing value chain and beverages sectors.
Research grants will be distributed through the APCF to finance academic and applied research projects on a sector-wide, sub-sector or company level. However, the resultant research output should be of benefit to the sector or the sub-sector as a whole and not only one company and thus contributing to enhance the competiveness of the agro-processing value chain, including the beverage sector.
Public and private institutions are invited to apply for grant funding for topical research into the opportunities and challenges currently facing the agro-processing industry.
The grants will be allocated through a competition approach, with specific emphasis on the following requirements:
The research must clearly contribute to the objectives of the fund – namely enhance sustainable competitiveness to the sector as a whole and job creation; and
More weight will be given to research proposals that look at topical issues in the agro-processing value chain – for an example competitiveness of the poultry industry or challenges of rural agro-processing initiatives – that are also in line with the government priorities as indicated in the New Growth Path, National Development Plan and Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP2).
Applications will be assessed by the research sub-committee of the APCF Steering Committee. The research should not last for more than two years and should be linked to a project plan with clear milestones.Expressions of interest must specifically include:
–Proposed research topic;
-Motivation looking at how the proposed study will contribute to the
-Study terms of reference;
-B-BEE credentials; and,
-Tax clearance certificate.
Successful projects will be monitored by project-specific steering committees, appointed by the research sub-committee, which will make recommendations regarding progress and payment. They will evaluate the deliverables and decide on all technical matters pertaining to the project.
Once the studies are completed, the researcher will be expected to provide copies of the final report and key data, both in hard and electronic versions.