The Ministry of Science innovation fund provides a great funding opportunity for innovators

In an effort to transform Uganda into a knowledge-based economy and to better deliver services, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MoSTI) is implementing the National Research and Innovation Program (NRIP). The announcement of the newly approved Ministry of Science innovation fund was made by Dr Elioda Tumwesigye on 08th April 2021 as he spoke to the media.

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The Ministry of Science innovation fund will support youth creativity

The National Research and Innovation Program consists of the Ministry of Science Innovation Fund, set up by the government to encourage youth creativity and enable ideas to be transformed into innovations or inventions and ultimately viable companies. In this regard, MoSTI is currently accepting expressions of interest from individuals as well as competent public, private, and civil sector institutions via a Call for Concepts (CfC).

The successful concepts will then be required to be developed into full proposals to be implemented over a period of up to 3 years. However, clear deliverables for the first year must be defined. Submitted concepts and full proposals will be handled and evaluated by the NRIP Steering Committee in accordance with procedures and guidelines laid out in the NRIP framework document.

Funding Windows

The National Research and Innovation Programme (NRIP) Framework provides for three Funding Windows through the Ministry of Science Innovation Fund;

i. Research and Development (R&D): In this window, new projects are selected provided they show potential for product development, IP rights generation and registration.

ii. Incubation: This supports the development of functional prototypes into viable products.

iii. Commercialization: Funding under this window goes towards innovations that have clear evidence of value and potential impact, and a strong case for market viability and demand, and have either not yet entered the market, at the pilot stage or are at an insignificant production scale. Projects at incubation or commercialization stages will qualify for funding if the support provided is used for further improvements in the prototype/product to aid acquisition/protection of IP and/or to facilitate securing alternative funding from other players in the private or public sectors. Further, incubation or commercialization funding can be used to support partnership formation, resource mobilization and capacity building to enable commercialization. Projects requiring the transfer of specific technologies to aid successful implementation will qualify for funding under this phase.

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In this call, the Ministry will consider funding the concepts that are aligned to any of the below themes:

  • 1) Innovations to add value to agricultural and non-agricultural raw materials and products for industrialization.
  • 2) Innovations that promote multisectoral approaches for adopting renewable energy among off-grid communities.
  • 3) Innovations that improve food safety and access to markets.
  • 4) Innovations that promote water use efficiency in food and non-food production.
  • 5) Innovations to reduce the high burden of disease and undernutrition.
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Eligibility Requirements

Any Ugandan as well as Ugandan based scientists, technologists, innovators and researchers; including youths and women in both the formal and informal sectors are invited to submit their concepts to be considered for funding. Eligible institutions will need to demonstrate the following to qualify for funding:

  • (i) Be incorporated under the laws of Uganda.
  • (ii) Are carrying out their activities in Uganda
  • (iii) Have qualified individuals and a track record of research or innovation.
  • (iv) Have facilities and services that enable investigators to conduct their work.
  • (v) Don’t have any institutional constraints limiting publication of results.
  • (vi) Are willing and able to administer the NRIP funds.
  • (vii) Should not be insolvent, in receivership, bankrupt or being wound up.
  • (viii) Should have fulfilled obligations to pay taxes and social security contributions.

Submission guidelines

All those interested should submit electronic copies of concepts not exceeding 5 pages in single spacing, New Times Romans Font 12. They should include the following items/sections;

  • Project title
  • Investigator details
  • Abstract/summary
  • Background
  • Methodology/approach
  • Proposed outputs/deliverables
  • References if any
  • Itemized budget

They should be addressed to the Permanent Secretary [email protected] and copied to the NRIP Secretariat [email protected].

Concepts should be submitted by 5PM Friday, April 16th 2021.

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