The SANBio Network is supported by the Finnish-Southern Africa Partnership Programme to strengthen NEPAD/SANBio (BioFISA). The first phase of BioFISA (BioFISA I) involved a 36 months grant agreement signed in December 2008 between the Government of South Africa-Department of Science and Technology (DST), and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.  In this first phase, the government of Finland invested EUR 3 million while South Africa through DST contributed ZAR 9 million.

The need for the programme came from very low capacity and utilization of biosciences research & development, and innovation for poverty alleviation in Southern Africa.

The goal of BioFISA I was to harness and apply biosciences research & development, and innovation to alleviate poverty in Southern Africa.

The purpose of BioFISA I was to strengthen the operational capacity of NEPAD Agency/African Biosciences Initiative in Southern Africa by rolling out the SANBio Business Plan in the twelve member states of the Network.

The overall objectives of the programme were:

  • To develop regional capacity in biosciences research & development, and innovation
  • To contribute to global scientific knowledge and technological innovations
  • To effectively utilize existing expertise and resources through regional networking
  • To strengthen the SANBio Network and Secretariat
  • To develop a conducive operating environment for research and networking
  • To identify, develop and implement bioscience projects
  • To bring new innovative biosciences related products into the market