Cannabiz Africa Logo in white - business marketplace in Africa

CSIR Launches Cannabis Agro-Processing Incubation Project; Calls for Submissions from Start-Ups by 2 June

CSIR targeting SMME’s and holders of indigenous knowledge to come forward with ideas

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) says it will help small cannabis businesses develop commercial products through a new incubation programme. The project is being supported by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and Gauteng’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD). In a statement released on 17 May 2022, the CSIR said it would make its agro-processing capabilities available to start-up entrepreneurs and holders of indigenous knowledge (IK) wanting to develop cannabis or hemp products. 

The CSIR has called for expressions of interest (EoI) to be lodged by 2 June 2022.

The statement reads: “The current EoI call is targeted at IK holders, entrepreneurs and SMMEs interested in developing cannabis and hemp products in the agro-processing sector, with a specific focus on the whole value chain from primary processing to products and processes development for commercialisation. This will include drying to extraction of key cannabinoids and terpenes- active ingredients from the plants and formulation thereof into herbal products, food and supplements, fortified products, topical ointments, etc”.

What the CSIR will offer

The CSIR agri-processing group will, in its own words, offer the following:

  • Infrastructure and skilled human resource support (scientists, technologists, process engineers). 
  • Technical incubation support. 
  • Analytical support, shelf life, nutritional studies, experts in medicinal chemistry and quality control. 
  • Bio-based product development, formulation and labelling/packaging; 
  • Business and marketing entrepreneurship. 
  • Mentoring and training in manufacturing skills; and 
  • Liaise with other organisations to build and expand the network of the SMME. 

What the CSIR will not offer

The following will not be covered under the EOI call: 

  • Requests for infrastructure or purchase of land; 
  • Projects at ideation phase; 
  • Requests for start-up costs; 
  • Requests for operational costs (salaries, rent, telephony, etc.); 
  • Requests to establish farming of the plants (primary agriculture); 
  • Efficacy studies; 
  • Clinical trials; 
  • Contract manufacturing at commercial scale; and 
  • Certification of products/accreditation of facilities. 

EoI requirements

The requirements bidders have to comply with are: 

  • SMME must be registered with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC); 
  • Concept processes and product prototypes under development; 
  • Demonstration of markets and business plan developed; 
  • Company current financials and turnover if any; and 
  • Clear description of the type of technical assistance required prioritised in terms of the commercial market.

The CSIR says the EoI’s must come from registered companies or organizations and that individuals cannot apply in their own names. It also doesn’t want any applications filled out by hand and any CSIR staff or entities won’t be considered either.

6 Responses

  1. We are a cooperative that grows hemp, we want to know further about this CSIR incubation project and how to become part of it.

  2. Hey Katlego and Mike, thanks for your queries. The CSIR has offered the two contacts below:

    Mike, please will you email me details of your project – I would love to do a story on it, may help with getting funding.


    David Mandaha: CSIR Media Relations Manager
    Tel: 012 841 3654
    Mobile: 072 126 8910


    Mr Simlindele Manqina: Corporate Communication Manager and Stakeholder Relations
    Coega Development Corporation (Pty) Ltd
    Tel: 041 403 0807
    Mobile: 073 367 8999

  3. How and where do I submit for this “CSIR Launches Cannabis Agro-Processing Incubation Project; Calls for Submissions from Start-Ups by 2 June”?

  4. My company Advanced Emoyeni Training (pty) ltd is operating in the Industrial hemp space. We are currently working on the EIA for the construction and development of a 900 house village which is going to be an Hemp village
    Where do we register for support with the CSIR please

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Table of Contents



Subscribe to our free newsletter!