The National Research Foundation (NRF) in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DST) initiated the Research Infrastructure Support Programmes (RISP) Grants that support the acquisition, maintenance and development of state-of-the art research equipment.
Two sub-programmes, the National Equipment Programme (NEP) and the National Nanotechnology Equipment Programme (NNEP) were established.
In addition to these programmes, the need was identified for a strategic research infrastructure to support research focusing on the five grand challenges, S&T mission and strategic research areas as conceptualised in the national R&D strategy.
The NEP is designed to improve the competitiveness of South African research and training by contributing to the improvement of research infrastructure, the expansion of research and training capacity and the promotion of national collaboration in line with identified research priorities.
The National Equipment Programme (NEP) focuses on large or specialized equipment that will advance scientific research and train students to compete in a knowledge-based economy.
Thus funding is considered for multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary research which is too expensive for individual or collective institutional acquisition.
The National Nanotechnology Equipment Programme(NNEP) is dedicated to positioning South African research globally in the emerging areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology by promoting multi-disciplinary, inter-institutional research and human capacity development in the critical socioeconomic areas of Water, Energy, Health, Chemical and Bio-Processing, Mining and Minerals, Advanced Materials and Manufacturing.
Specific support is focussed on Characterisation Centres, Research and Innovation Networks and Capacity Building Initiatives.
The Strategic Research Infrastructure Programme (SRIP) has been created in order to specifically address these research infrastructure requirements that fall outside NEP and NNEP.
For more grants information and application, see: Research Infrastructure Support Programme Website