Flagship Grants - 1st call

Call Type

Flagship grants


call closed

Call ID


Deadline for submission

16 May 2016

Call closed; the information below is for reference purposes only.


This is a two-phased open call for funding of flagship projects. In this first phase, only a concept note is submitted for evaluation (Part 1). Thereafter, the shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal (Part 2) and separate guidelines for the second phase will be published.


The Southern Africa Network for Biosciences (SANBio) is a NEPAD Agency Flagship for collaborative research, development and an innovation platform aimed at addressing Southern Africa's challenges in health and nutrition. It is one of the five Networks under the Consolidated Plan of Action for Science and Technology (African Biosciences Initiative) and was officially launched in August 2005. The NEPAD SANBio Network was reconfigured in response to the 4 Pillars and 6 Priority Areas of the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA-2024 - a 10-year strategy which is part of the long-term African Union Agenda 2063). STISA-2024 envisages the accelerated transition of largely commodity-based African economies to innovation-led, knowledge-based economies. Such economies should be underpinned by robust science, technology and innovation (STI) systems[2].

In line with STISA-2024, the SANBio Flagship and its supporting programmes are implemented on a regional multi-country basis outlined in the SANBio Business Plan. The Network is comprised of 12 of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Member States and operates on a Regional Hub (The CSIR in South Africa) and Country Nodes model. The current SANBio Member States are Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Lesotho, South Africa, Seychelles, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The BioFISA II Programme is the second phase of a Finnish-Southern African Partnership (BioFISA) Programme meant to strengthen the NEPAD SANBio Network. BioFISA II started in April 2015 and will be implemented until February 2019. Funding under BioFISA II is aimed to support and strengthen biosciences research and development as well as human capacity development in the 12 Southern African Development Community (SADC) Member States through the existing NEPAD SANBio Network.

SANBio/BioFISA II Programme invites public research institutions, universities, private sector and NGOs (in the 12 SADC countries listed above) to submit their Concept Note for grants to support flagship projects. Flagship projects have the following general guidelines:

-      The flagship projects implemented should emphasis the later stages of the biosciences value-chain and have the ability to scale up. Flagship projects supported should prove that they have proof of concepts or a prototype and have been demonstrated in the relevant environment;

-      The projects must ensure the involvement of at least three countries in any of the countries that SANBio operates in;

-      The funding principle for flagship projects will be that 60% of the funding will come from BioFISA II and 20% cash and 20% costed in-kind contribution from the project implementation partner[3].

Applications for the Flagship Project Grants should be in line with the following priority areas:

Human health:

  • Diagnostics, e.g. point-of-care or surveillance
  • Food safety
  • E-health/M-health
  • Genomics, e.g. host-pathogen interactions
  • Food drug interactions (relevant tools/services and not studies)
  • Herb drug interactions (relevant tools/services and not studies)
  • Food allergies (relevant tools/services and not studies)


It is widely recognises stunted growth is one of the key challenges in Africa and particularly the SADC region. In addition, Anaemia is a major problem for children under 5 and pregnant women. As such, solutions proposed in the impact area of nutrition should include alternative sources of protein, micronutrients and carbohydrates, e.g. promotion on nutrient-rich foods targeting women and children. The main thematic areas in nutrition that concept notes applicants should cover include:

  • Food handling and processing, e.g. improved handling and storage, technologies to ensure availability throughout the year
  • Value addition of indigenous foods and neglected foods - nutritional value of indigenous & neglected foods e.g. vegetables integrated into food
  • Food and drink industry in providing healthy and safe products

Health-related Agriculture issues:

  • Animal health (therapeutics and diagnostics)
  • Aquaculture (fish farming technologies)

The duration for Flagship projects shall not exceed 24 months.

Concept Notes

Applicants are requested to submit their Concept Notes to the SANBio/BioFISA II Programme Unit using the available templates and taking into account the guidelines that are applicable to this call.  The application form shall be submitted via email both in Word and signed PDF. The Word version (unsigned) must contain the same information as the PDF. All enquiries should be done by email by the 25th of April 2016, and these (together with the responses) will be shared with all prospective applicants on the SANBio website no later than 11 days before the deadline.


Up to Rand 4.5 million will be disbursed per Flagship project.

Only applications which are submitted to SANBio/BioFISA II Programme using appropriate templates and/or the e-submission platform will be considered.

Application documents and guidelines have been archived in the Document Library section.