SAIS 2 grants are targeted at innovation support organizations who are assisting early-stage entrepreneurs and already act as orchestrators bringing different role-players together to design and implement joint activities in their local innovation ecosystems.
As a regional programme the projects supported from the innovation fund should connect innovation role-players across the borders to exchange practical knowledge and solutions on what works and where and why.
SAIS 2 Innovation Fund will support projects under three thematic areas, defined as funding windows:
SAIS 2 funding is awarded on a competitive basis, with three open Calls for Proposals scheduled during the duration of the programme from 2017 to 2021. Each SAIS 2 Innovation Fund Call for Proposals is issued by SAIS 2 PMO and publicised through SAIS 2 Focal Points in national newspapers, websites and social media. SAIS 2 uses an independent team of external evaluators to score the applications.
The SAIS 2 Innovation Fund Application is a two-stage process comprising of:
Applicants submit a Concept Note for evaluation. Only the eligible highest scoring Concept Notes approved by the SAIS 2 Supervisory Board (SVB) are invited to submit a Full Proposal.
Applicants elaborate the Concept Note in more detail and outline the implementation of the project. The SAIS 2 SVB approves the highest scoring projects for funding.
Applicants to SAIS 2 Innovation Fund are encouraged to read the following guidance documents:
SAIS 2 uses a digital application platform, SmartME, for the preparation and submission of proposals, this portal in functional only during the time when the call is open.
All projects receiving funding from SAIS 2 Innovation Fund are provided with specific capacity building from leading expert organisations in the field. Innovation not only requires technological understanding but also knowledge on data management, marketing, teamwork and networking skills. SAIS 2 offers capacity building for innovators linked to their projects of market validation and initial deployment which are relatively neglected phases in existing support mechanisms. Capacity building is expected to network the projects and their ecosystems but also offer an opportunity for peer-to-peer learning. Projects also expected to regularly share their progress and the results through both digital and physical platforms such as the SAIS 2 Annual Event.
More information can be requested from the SAIS 2 focal points located in each implementing partner country and updates on the call will be publicised here.