Contract research (often referred to as externally funded research), constitutes an important source of research revenue for the University. It is essentially research that is funded by external sources of funding, including government, foreign funders, and industry or commerce.
Typically these sources of funding would include government funding instruments such as THRIP, the Innovation Fund, the Biotechnology Regional Innovation Centres (BRICS), and industry sources would include large corporate business, and small to medium enterprises (SME’s). Foreign funders would include the EU Framework Programmes, Foundations and Agencies, and collaborative research funds.
The Department of Research & Innovation Support (DRIS) provides support to researchers at the University in establishing agreements, obtaining funds, establishing collaborations, and compliance with the various legislative and internal University policy requirements.
Functions and Services of the Contracts and Innovation Support Office:
- Support the researchers of the UP by creating an enabling environment to do research and to obtain funding for their research from third parties, through excellence in contracts writing, monitoring and execution.
- Co-ordinate processes, systems and structures to facilitate innovation at the University of Pretoria, including development of capacity to access market opportunities, and to define and implement routes to market for university technological innovations;
- Co-ordinate the development of the UP Innovation Support Policy & Strategy and the Policy on Externally Funded Research (Contract Research);
- Facilitate the implementation of the Innovation Support Policy & Strategy, and the Policy on Externally Funded Research (Contract Research);
- Develop and co-ordinate mechanisms to enable UP to take advantage of the TIA Act, the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), and related innovation funding instruments;
- Manage the THRIP portfolio for UP;
- Manage the European Framework Programme portfolios for UP;
- Provide information, and assist with proposal writing and strategic support on applications for research and innovation funding (e.g. Innovation Fund Proposals, BRIC Proposals, etc.), and agreements;
- Support researchers in the project management of large innovation projects, and interact on Steering committees and provide budgeting guidelines and financial administration support where needed;
- Interact with and contract out legal services on agreements where necessary;
- Build strategic networks with other HEI’s, Government agencies, and industry partners, as well as strategic international partners.