The CSIR showcases its work at the inaugural South African Business Incubation Conference

Several enterprises supported by the CSIR’s Biomanufacturing Industry Development Centre (BIDC) programme showcased their products at the inaugural South African Business Incubation Conference hosted by the Small Enterprise Development Agency at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand from 10-11 March 2016.

The conference is aimed at creating a platform where everything related to technology and business incubation can be discussed, shared and explored.

When delivering the keynote address, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said the conference was an opportunity to share best practice, learn, generate ideas, strengthen cooperation and find common strategies to build South Africa’s economy. “Our National Development Plan (NDP) identifies support for small business development as critical in achieving faster, more inclusive growth to create the millions of jobs that our country needs. Most importantly, government will continue to direct resources towards those activities that have the greatest potential to promote the growth of our economy and the development of our people,” said Ramaphosa.

CSIR BIDC’s supported enterprise, Elvema Nutritions’ Makekele Somo-Tladi, interacting with a delegate at the inaugural South African Business Incubation Conference

In line with the NDP, the BIDC programme provides product and technology development support to small businesses in the biomanufacturing sector. The phase I BIDC programme is funded by the Department of Science and Technology’s Industry Innovation Partnership Fund and the National Treasury’s Jobs Fund initiative. The CSIR showcased products from a selection of the programme’s supported enterprises, namely OptimusBio, Elvema and Phepisa, as well as providing information to interested entrepreneurs.

The BIDC is currently raising funding for Phase II of the programme which continues to provide technology incubation and access to world class facilities to small businesses, but also extends its reach to co-development of products and technologies with established industry.