BOTSWANA INNOVATION FUND (BIF) SECOND CALL FOR PROPOSALS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 1. What is the purpose of BIF?

Botswana Innovation Hub is mandated to coordinate the establishment of a functional and integrated national innovation ecosystem.  Key to this, is the creation of Innovation Fund that promotes innovation through provision of seed/early stage funding to innovative projects.

In addition, the Innovation Fund serves to encourage companies and organizations awarded funding to transfer skills to citizen employees by providing cash grants to be utilized for institutional training and on the job training programmes.

 2. What is the purpose of BIF?

Botswana Innovation Hub is mandated to coordinate the establishment of a functional and integrated national innovation ecosystem.  Key to this, is the creation of Innovation Fund that promotes innovation through provision of seed/early stage funding to innovative projects.

In addition, the Innovation Fund serves to encourage companies and organizations awarded funding to transfer skills to citizen employees by providing cash grants to be utilized for institutional training and on the job training programmes.

3. What can be funded?

The Fund provides for costs that are directly related to the development of a new product, process or new technical services which surpass existing products, processes or technical services in terms of their functions, parameters or features.  Refer to Eligible and Non-Eligible Costs in the Botswana Innovation Fund Guidelines.

4. What sectors are funded?

 

  • Mining Technologies The mining technology is focused on facilitating joint research and development in mining and related technologies focusing on technology providers as well as business development in exploration, geology, mining, ore processing and mineral beneficiation technologies. Key Projects include, value adding solutions in the sector are technology enablers which effectively address productions costs, safety, efficiency and innovative processes.
  • Clean Technologies The sector focusses on catalysing activities relating to Clean Technologies; renewable energy and environmental research; development and commercial activities within those areas. It emphasises environmental sustainability, renewable energy, cleaner coal, water conservation and waste management (water and energy).
  • Agricultural and Health Technologies (Biotechnology) The sector focuses on catalysing more commercial business in the areas of Agriculture and Health. Opportunities include support towards new products development, testing and manufacturing with special emphasis on addressing cross cutting issues of food Security and Health. Key projects include but not limited to new food and nutrition products, additives, supplements, and snacks
  • Information and Communications technologies (ICT) A unique platform that enables ICT growth through research and development, ICT development and commercial business activities. Activities in ICT like software development, voice and data networks, business process automation, applications development for transport, finance, business. Targeted solutions in the manufacturing, transport, fintech, Agribusiness among others. The solutions must be aligned to the national clusters of the economy, e.g.  finance and Knowledge Intensive Business Systems (Finance and Knowledge Intensive Business Systems), Agriculture/Beef, Tourism, Manufacturing and Services. These may demonstrate technology uptake through relevant and available technologies, including the use of big data, artificial intelligence, blockchain technologies and Internet of Things (IoT).
  • Indigenous Knowledge Systems (Alternative medicine and supplementary nutrition products based on local plant and animal material, including medicinal solutions) targeted solutions and products based on inclusive innovation processes supporting grassroots innovations.
  • Knowledge Intensive Business Services (KIBS) – The Focus of value added business services including consultancies, providing specialised solutions. Targeting specialised services that enable the above solutions e.g. project management processes.

5. How do I submit an application?

BIH Members may access the form directly on the BIH e-portal.

BIH Non-Members should send their Company details (Company Name, Email Contact and Company Representative) to innovationfund@bih.co.bw for e-portal registration

  • Fund Guidelines, application evaluation criteria and Questions & Answers are available on the BIH website (www.bih.co.bw)

6. How many applications can a company submit?

  • Only 1 application per company is permitted per call.

7. How much can my project be funded for?

  • The grants awarded shall be up to P2 million per project and only to be spent on eligible costs.

8. How will my application be evaluated?

The following are Required

  • Market Need
  • Value Proposition (a clear path towards operationalizing the product on-the-ground)
  • Team Composition and Roles
  • Customer Validation
  • Clear Revenue Streams
  • Alignment with Key Govt Objective/National Need
  • Social Impact Identify a specific problem/challenge statement or need
  • Articulation of proposed solution and approach

 

The following are Preferred

  • Projects that present a clear strategy for bridging the gap between innovation and the end users, including through productive approaches and end-user consultations
  • Involvement of research or other partners in Botswana
  • New partnerships to develop cross sectoral and collaborative teams (including members from the public, private, NGO and academic sectors)
  • Encouraging training and capacity development
  • Development of open access data, products, tools and approaches
  • Open source technological solutions that are simple and replicable are encouraged
  • Ability to leverage other projects and investment to deliver greater impact

9. What are the windows available for Funding?

The following Windows are available under the Second Call for Proposals:

WINDOW ONE: Applied Research and Development: There are opportunities for research outputs based on previous work in different universities and research Institute. The Window shall target key research outputs that have been tested beyond laboratory prototype level and ready to be scaled up to a validated prototype.

WINDOW TWO: Entrepreneurship led solutions: The window shall be targeting proven solutions by entrepreneurs towards corporate, government and industry challenges.  Entrepreneurs and the client adopting the solution will be requested to jointly pitch or demonstrate their solutions. The solutions may be proven prototypes from hackathons, mapathons, makeathons.

 

WINDOW THREE: Indigenous Knowledge Based solutions: This window will focus on grass-roots innovations driven by community and/or social enterprises in a co-creation-based approach to pressing community challenges that have potential to scale and recognise the knowledge holder’s inputs. The window will not address any medical or health related claims that may require full medical trials and ethical issues. The focus shall be on producing and promotion of the IKS based innovations and protecting intellectual property.

10. What else is funded?

The following cash grants are available to augment product or process development:

(i) institutionalised training, and/or

(ii) approved on the job training programmes.

Download DOC Format: BIF Call for Proposal

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