The SDF will provide funding to skills and technology development through four 'windows', each catering for a particular target group. The GSTDP project document has proposed the following indicative grant size and co-financing requirements for the four windows of the Fund:
||UPPER CEILING FOR EACH GRANT
||MAXIMUM GRANT ELEMENT||MATCHING CONTRIBUTION|
Formal Sector Enterprises
|*GHC 665,000**||80%||20% (In-cash)|
|GHC 114,000**||90%||10% (In-cash or in-kind)|
|GHC 950,000**||75%||25% (In-cash for private, in-kind for public sector applicants)|
|a. Technology Partnerships||GHC 380,000**||50%||50% (In-cash)|
|b. Technology Centres||GHC 1,900,000||50%-75%||50%-25% (In-cash or in-kind)|
Window 4: Technology Partnerships Technology Centres
WINDOW 4: Science & Technology
4. Focus of Window 4
The objective of Window 4 is private sector growth and productivity improvements through support to firms to introduce new technologies and innovations into their business practices. Hence, the window will finance collaboration between science and technology providers and industry targeting productivity improvements, product diversification and growth through technology development or organisational innovations.
Window 4 will provide two forms of support:
(i) Matching grants available to firms or firm-provider partnerships to support the introduction of new technologies or innovations at firms, and
(ii) Institutional 'technology centre' grants available to institutions whose mission it is to transfer technology to firms.
Funds provided from this window can be used by grant recipients for expenditures such as goods, works and services that are documented in sub-grant agreements.
5. Grant award process
Applicants will have to download and complete a Grant Application Form from the SDF page of the COTVET website. The next stage is to complete a Technical and Financial Proposal template. Applicants may subsequently wish to contact an intermediary (optional) to support them in the development of their proposals. The applicant will then submit the fully completed proposal (both hard and soft copies) to the SDF division. Proposals will be evaluated by two trained external evaluators one after the other, after which the SDF office will then take over until a final decision is made by the the SDF committee. After the award of grants by the SDF Committee, a grant agreement will be prepared on the basis of the approved project proposal and budget for the implementation of approved proposals
6. Support to firms
Matching grants will provide support to firms that want to incorporate new technologies or innovations into their business in order to improve productivity. All firms regardless of size and ownership structure will be eligible. Beneficiary firms will receive matching grants requiring up to 50% co-financing by the firm. The beneficiary must co-finance the actual expenses of the project. There is no minimum grant size but no firm or group of firms under common control may receive more than the cedi equivalent of US$ 200,000 in grants, total. This commitment for providing matching grant will be documented in a Grant Agreement between COTVET and these entities and actual funding so provided reported in project financial reports.
This window will use a broad definition of innovation and technology adoption to include not only the introduction of new or improved products or processes but also new organisational or marketing innovations. These technologies or innovations must be new to the participating firms but not necessarily new to Ghana. Matching grant applications will be assessed based on technical and commercial merit. Firms with pre-identified collaborations with local providers of technology services (e.g. research institutes, universities, polytechnics, private consulting firms, etc.) should receive preference over firms applying without a local collaborating provider.
Eligible expenses under the matching grants would include: outside assessments of a firm's technology needs, consulting and technical assistance related to the innovation or technology to be introduced, physical technology such as equipment, training of related staff members, and research and development expenses.
7. Support to technology centres
Window 4 will also finance institutionally-based "technology centres" whose declared mission is to transfer existing technology and related training to the private sector. Technology centres could be existing or new organisations that, on an ongoing and proactive basis, assist firms with the adoption of new technologies or innovations. There is no minimum grant size, but no single technology centre may receive more than the cedi equivalent of US$ 1,000,000 in grants in total. The organisation wanting to establish the technology centre must provide co-funding of at least 25%. However, some of this may be in the form of salaries or facilities for the operation of the centre.
Technology centres must have an objective of supporting productivity improvements across a sector (e.g. building and construction, horticulture, or other economic sectors) through technology transfer, diffusion of innovation, quality improvements, and related training. All firms operating within the sector must be equally eligible to use the services of the technology centre. Each technology centre must demonstrate its capability to adapt and transfer appropriate, industry relevant technology and innovations to firms. Each technology centre should seek to establish linkages with international centres of excellence operating in the same sector to ensure that technology centres function as conduits of the most current and appropriate technologies and innovations to Ghanaian firms.
Technology centre grants are meant to finance start-up and initial costs rather than ongoing operating expenses. Therefore, technology centre applicants must demonstrate a viable plan for sustainability of the technology centre beyond the period of project funding. Applications demonstrating the availability of additional sources of funding will be strongly preferred. Technology centres that are based in and have the demonstrated support of established institutions (e.g. a university, polytechnic, or research institute) will receive preference. Technology centres with established links to internationally recognised centres of excellence in a relevant field will also receive preference. An initial set of client firms should be identified and consulted by each technology centre during the preparation of the technology centre application to demonstrate relevance and adequate demand for the technology centre's services.
The activities of technology centres might include: facilitating the transfer of existing technologies (off-the-shelf) and related training to Ghanaian enterprises, addressing sectoral quality issues including through providing quality certifications (e.g. ISO certifications), identifying bottlenecks and opportunities for further innovation of products and processes at the sectoral level, facilitating R&D to develop new products and processes for firms, and acting as a hub to connect firms with investors and business service providers that can support the adoption of innovations and new technologies.
8. Link to other science & technology innovation initiatives
Through other facilities of the Ghana Skills and Technology Development Project, the World Bank seeks to improve the capacities and incentives of selected research institutes, universities, and technology providers to develop, adapt and diffuse technologies to private sector enterprises on a demand-driven basis. Specifically, the facility will strengthen the capacity of at least 4 selected research institutes and university departments to carry out technology development activities in partnership with private firms.
In order to participate, the selected institutions must agree to governance and incentive reforms designed to encourage outreach and interaction between the institution and the private sector. Incentives are expected to include performance bonuses and accelerated promotion for staff working with and generating revenue from the private sector, additional funding for technology development activities undertaken in partnership with the private sector, and opportunities for international exposure and collaboration for staff working to diffuse international technologies to local enterprises. DANIDA is piloting a similar initiative intended to increase the collaboration between research institutions and private business.
It is expected that the beneficiaries of these other initiatives will approach SDF in order to seek funding for specific projects deriving from their increased interaction with the private sector.
9. Required documentation
As a means to ensure that applications have the required quality, SDF will, after administrative review of the initial application, offer small grants to prospective beneficiaries for the preparation of a technology needs assessment prior to final review of the application by the SDF Committee. If requested, SDF may assist in identifying an appropriate technical expert to assist with the preparation of this technology needs assessment. If necessary, SDF will also assist firms to identify a relevant technology provider with whom they can partner to improve their matching grant application.
The application must clearly indicate which technology development activities will be supported, the source of the requested expertise and technology, the estimated cost of the project, timeline, expected immediate outcome as well as the expected economic returns to the investment. For evaluation of the technical and commercial merit of the projects submitted for support, SDF will rely on a panel of national and international technical and business development specialists convened by the SDF Fund Manager.
All applications under Window 4 trigger an independent evaluation of the application by one or several peer reviewers.
The Fund does not support the following types of activities:
- Seminars and conferences designed to stimulate discussions and/or keep participants abreast of the latest trends in skills upgrading
- Induction/orientation programmes
- Appreciation programmes of short duration
- Programmes specific to company procedures/policies
- Training for spiritual, cultural and social enhancement, e.g. religious studies and appreciation of music
- Professional-training programmes, involving the upgrading of personnel such as doctors, lawyers, accountants and architects
- Postgraduate training programmes, involving the pursuance of higher education leading to the award of an advanced diploma, graduate diploma, degree or post degree qualification
- Attachment of engineers and senior managers to advance their skills and knowledge in existing or new work areas.
1st: Call 14th July 2011-16 Sept 2011. (Closed)
2nd: Call 31st July 2012 - 28th Sept. 2012 (Closed)
4th: Call September 2013
5th: Call January 2014
6th: Call June 2014
7th: Call January 2015
8th: Call June 2015
NEWS & EVENTS12April2013The Skill Development Fund (SDF) of the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET), yesterday, awarded over GHC15million to over 40 small, medium, large economic units and ot11April2013
The Skills Development Fund (SDF) has awarded grants totaling GH¢15 million to 40 small, medium and large businesses acros11April2013Accra, April 11, GNA -The Skills Development Fund (SDF) on Thursday presented grants totalling GH¢15 million to 40 small, Medium and Large Scale Industries, Science, Technology and Research Instituti15March2013The Skills Development Fund (SDF) has approved the disbursement of GH¢10.3 million to support the acquisition of new and innovative skills and technology by 38 small, medium and large scale industrie19November2012The evaluation of proposals received under the 2nd call of the Skills Development Fund (SDF) is underway. A total of about 428 proposals have so far been processed by the SDF for evaluation. It is exp