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Equipment / Infrastructure Support for the Research, Development, Testing, Pilot Scale Production and Regulation of Vaccines in South Africa
Request for Applications
Equipment / Infrastructure Support for the Research, Development, Testing, Pilot Scale Production and Regulation of Vaccines in South Africa
Reference No: SAMRC-RFA-GIPD-06-2024
Release Date: 14 June 2024
Closing Date: 26 July 2024

Request for Applications for Equipment / Infrastructure Support for the Research, Development, Testing and Pilot Scale Production of Vaccines in South Africa

The Government of the Republic of South Africa, through its Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), has received a grant funding commitment from the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, through its KfW Development Bank (KfW), for the support of vaccine development and production in South Africa (the Project). The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) has been appointed as the Project Executing Agency for the Project. The purpose of the Project is to address the gaps and strengthen the infrastructure for vaccine research, development, pre-clinical testing, pilot-scale production and regulation in South Africa. 

World-class research and innovation in the area of vaccine research, development, testing, production and regulation requires substantial financial investment in cutting edge equipment and infrastructure. This Project will provide funding to support the acquisition or upgrade of equipment, and, in some areas, the upgrade of infrastructure needed to improve the vaccine development pipeline and innovation and manufacturing ecosystem in South Africa. The primary objectives of this project are:

  • Improving research infrastructure at public universities and recognized research institutions to enable internationally competitive / world class vaccine research and development throughout the value chain to be conducted in South Africa;
  • Establishing and/or improving and/or expanding GMP-accredited pilot production facilities for the smaller scale production of mRNA and non-mRNA-based vaccines, for example for clinical testing;
  • Establishing and/or improving and/or expanding training facilities for vaccine research, development and manufacture to build human resource capacity;
  • Increasing the capacity and efficiency of regulation of clinical trials and health product registration and use in South Africa;
  • Ensuring optimal use and availability of research, development, testing and production infrastructure in the country and encouraging collaboration; and, thereby,
  • Attracting, developing and retaining high-end scientific and technological skills and competencies; and
  • Supporting and strengthening the objectives of the 2019 White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation, the STI Decadal Plan 2022- 2032, NDP: Vision 2030 and the South African Research Infrastructure Roadmap.

The areas to be supported through the Project are as follows:

No. Support Area Outcome
1 Pilot Vaccine Production (a) Procurement and installation of equipment at a pilot plant for active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) using mRNA technology.
(b) Procurement and installation of equipment at a pilot plant for vaccine APIs with other than mRNA technology.
2 Research and Laboratories Procurement and installation of laboratory equipment and support infrastructure (including IT) for upgrading and modernizing research facilities (including animal facilities) and laboratories, including the National Control Laboratory.
3 Training Equipment and infrastructure for activities that do not relate to vaccine research, development, testing and production will not be supported. The support is also limited to organizations and activities based in South Africa.

Through this Request for Applications (RFA), we are inviting role-players (Implementing Partners) involved in vaccine research, development, pre-clinical testing and pilot-scale production requiring equipment and infrastructure support to strengthen their capacity to contribute to the country’s vaccine innovation and manufacturing ecosystem.


A virtual, non-compulsory briefing session was held via Microsoft Teams on Wednesday, 26 June 2024 from 10h00 – 11h30. Please see below, the presentation as well as the Question and Answer Summary.

Clarification note on eligibility criteria for research equipment and infrastructure applications

The RFA document states: “For research equipment and infrastructure applications, the applicant must have held a doctoral degree for at least five (5) years prior to the submission of the application.” This requirement is to ensure that applications are submitted by experienced, senior researchers that are preferably leading vaccine-related research groups in their institutions. Where the requested equipment / infrastructure is not intended to be placed in a public research institution or is intended to support rather than conduct research, for example data management, national reference testing, etc. applicants that do not meet this criterion will be considered. What remains critical is that the applicant must have a demonstrated track record relevant to the proposed use of the equipment and infrastructure.

The due date for applications is 26 July 2024, 23:59 (SAST). No late or incomplete applications will be accepted.

For further enquiries:
Sumaya Behardien
SAMRC Grants Innovation and Product Development (GIPD)