Using new, improved technology to develop chemical processes to manufacture Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients for Africa

The local manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) has been a priority of the South African government since the large-scale roll-out of government sponsored anti-retroviral (ARV) treatments for HIV/AIDS infected patients. Reliance on the importation of finished drugs or the API itself not only places the country with a security of supply risk, but also results in a significant trade deficit for the pharmaceutical sector.

Attempts to establish local API manufacturing by attracting multinationals with these capabilities have not been successful due to South Africa being perceived as being a non-competitive manufacturing environment. To drive technology development and commercialization of API manufacturing in South Africa, an API Technology Innovation Cluster Program (API-TICP) has been established to build on the strengths of South African academic research labs and to integrate forward to develop manufacturing capabilities in South Africa while addressing the supply of strategic molecules.

Hosted by North-West University and residing under the Technology Innovation Agency’s (TIA), the Technology Innovation Cluster Program (TICP) will focus on funding the synthesis of small molecule APIs for human health using modern manufacturing technology. The goal of this call is to make several awards to academic groups who seek to employ technologies to improve the manufacturing process for drugs of need for Africa.

The projects can range between 12 and 18 months.





1. Publication of call

14 August 2020

2. Deadline for submitting applications

5pm 30 September 2020

3. Review completion and feedback

October – November 2020

4. Award and contracting

December 2020



Please direct any requests for information and questions/queries on this RFA by email to Liezl-Marie Scholtz at