Presented by Department of Science and Innovation

Unlock the potential of local health innovations with the Department of Science and Innovation

 ·8 Mar 2024

South Africa’s Department of Science (DSI) and Innovation is playing a key role in growing local businesses through innovation and access to vital services and data.

Key to this is Innovation Bridge portal, a platform created by the Department of Small Business Development (DSBS) and the DSI.

Innovation Bridge allows investors, entrepreneurs, and innovators to work together to develop and realise innovations that could have a transformative impact on South Africa’s economy.

“At the Department of Science and Innovation, we understand there is no shortage of remarkable ideas or people,” said the DSI.

“We enable local innovations to scale for business, drive efficiencies, improve speed to market, reduce costs, and support the needs of society.”

Enabling health innovation

Innovation in the healthcare sector is one of the biggest focuses of the DSI.

Meaningful partnerships and relationships can facilitate transformative projects like nuclear medicine research, drug development, vaccine manufacturing, and product development that is based on indigenous knowledge.

To support innovative South Africans in building projects and businesses that achieve these goals, Innovation Bridge has partnered with several prominent organisations.


The Nuclear Medicine Research Infrastructure (NuMeRI) is an imaging and therapeutic facility that diagnoses and treats diseases such as cancer, infections, and heart disease early.

It forms part of the Department of Science and Innovation’s South African Research Infrastructure Roadmap (SARIR), and enables the department to provide important technologies to public and private hospitals.

Working together, these entities also equip local and international universities, pharmaceutical and medical equipment companies, and medical practitioners with the research and innovation needed to grow the health industry – with this support extended to Innovation Bridge members.


Distributed Platform in Omics (DIPLOMICS) is a national research infrastructure that was established to build and support world-class Omics research laboratories in South Africa.

Its facilities support students and researchers in Omics sciences through laboratory infrastructure, technician training, and access to Omics data.

This, in turn, supports industries that enable human health, as well as conservation of plants, animals, agriculture, and biodiversity

All of this is done through a central portal that delivers key Omics resources – hosted by the DSI.

DIPLOMICS has partnered with Innovation Bridge to extend its resources to entrepreneurs in South Africa.


Biovac is a bio-pharmaceutical company in Cape Town that is re-establishing local vaccine manufacturing capabilities.

This will reduce South Africa’s dependence on imported vaccines while strengthening national health management and security.

The DSI works with Biovac and other pharmaceutical companies through public and private partnerships to research and develop vaccines locally, and through Innovation Bridge will extend its support to local entrepreneurs in the health sector.

The Indigenous Knowledge Programme

Fundamental to innovation and growth in the health sector is unlocking indigenous knowledge, which is why the DSI partners with the Indigenous Knowledge Programme.

Through this programme, entrepreneurs who wish to unlock the value of indigenous plant species for commercial development, while also safeguarding traditional knowledge, can thrive.

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