Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Blade Nzimande said on Tuesday his department has made progress towards setting up a fund that will ease the risk of bringing new technological innovations onto the market. File photo: ANA

CAPE TOWN – Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Blade Nzimande said on Tuesday his department has made progress towards setting up a fund that will ease the risk of bringing new technological innovations onto the market.

Nzimande told a media briefing in Cape Town that the fund would receive R1 billion per year for five years, with the aim of making these new business ventures more attractive for investors.

"The fund is designed to largely de-risk the early stages of technology commercialisation and/or business development. An injection of R1 billion per year for five years is expected to make a significant impact in making these businesses more attractive to investors for significant scale-up," he said.

Nzimande said the past decade has seen a significant increase in applications for intellectual property rights licences and in the number of start-ups coming out of the country's higher education institutions.

He said his department planned to use its budget increase for the current financial year -- up to R8.15 billion from R7.79 billion -- to support new research and the development of new industries that could serve to beneficiate raw materials exported by South Africa.

Nzimande was addressing journalists on his deparment's budget vote.

African News Agency (ANA)