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Please note that THRIP is no longer with the NRF. Please visit the dti website for more information: the dti

Creating knowledge-based, internationally competitive, South African Industries

The Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme (THRIP) is a flagship research and development programme of the dti and the NRF. The NRF contributes research management and opportunities to leverage national and international research initiatives, so that the technology and industry development aims of the dti are taken forward effectively.  This government - private sector partnership programme was established to respond to the shortage of high-level technical skills for industry and the need to improve the competitive edge of South Africa’s industry through the development of advanced technologies.


THRIP was launched in 1991. A major stimulus for the establishment of THRIP was serious concerns over the quantity and quality of engineering graduates in South Africa.  These concerns coincided with the increased recognition and attention government was giving to the importance of technology in economic development. 


Fast Facts


THRIP supports an average of 235 projects per year.

THRIP funding totals around R150 million, and approximately R240 million from industry per year.

 Examples of outcomes produced include the following:      

·         SMME developing into large companies;     

·         Highly skilled workforce;

·         Using science for the benefit of society;

·         High-level innovative product and services; and

·         Expanded networks and access to scientific expertise, equipment and facilities situated at research  institutions for industry partners.

About THRIP 


THRIPs aim is to enhance and extend cooperation between HEIs and industry and thereby increase South African competitiveness. 


This Technology Programme is designed to enable South African industry to access innovative responses to technological needs and to produce a flow of highly skilled researchers and technology managers, through applied research performed at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and Science, Engineering and Technology Institutions (SETIs).




Levering collaborative partnerships on a cost-sharing basis, for research in science, engineering and technology, in order to provide technology solutions towards a competitive industry and to produce a flow of highly skilled researchers and technology managers for industry. 


Strategic Goals

  • To support research on technologies to develop the competitiveness of South African industry;
  • To support research that develops skilled human resources for industry;
  • To support research that contributes to  social and economic development and upliftment of all South Africans; and
  • To facilitate collaborative applied research between industry and academia.

Long term Objectives

  • To contribute to the increase in the number and quality of people with appropriate skills in the development and management of research-based technology for industry;
  • To promote increased interaction among researchers and technology managers in industry, universities and Science, Engineering and Technology Institutions (SETIs), with the aim of developing skills for the commercial exploitation of science and technology.
  • To promote the mobility of people between industry and, universities and SETIs with the aim of developing researchers and R&D managers; 
  • To stimulate industry and government to increase their investment in research, technology development, technology diffusion, and the promotion of innovation; 
  • To promote increased collaboration between large and small enterprises, universities and SETIs, by conducting R&D activities leading to technology transfer and product or process development;
  • To promote thematic collaborative research and development projects within the NIPF; and
  • To steadily contribute to research outcomes that improve the quality of life of all South Africans.

Short term Objectives 

  •  To support an increase in the number of black and female students who intend to pursue technological and engineering careers; 
  • To promote technological know-how within the SMME sector, through the deployment of skills vested in universities and SETIs;
  • To facilitate and support the enhancement of the competitiveness of BEE’s through technology and human resources development; and
  • To facilitate and support multi-firm projects in which firms collaborate and share in the project outcomes, provided that one of the industrial partners involved, is a BEE.




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