Call for proposals to support Africa’s Science Granting Councils in developing policy frameworks and enabling structures for public-private sector partnerships

International Development Research Centre

Relevent Country: Malawi

Type of work: Research and Survey

The Science Granting Councils Initiative (SGCI) is calling for proposals to support the councils with implementing policy frameworks to promote public-private sector partnerships.


  • Promoting linkages and knowledge exchange between public sector research organizations and private sector actors has been a key objective of SGCI’s work since its inception. Important aspects are private sector partnerships through research projects, ensuring the priorities of research organizations are aligned with private sector needs and enhancing private sector understanding of how to work with public research organizations.
  • Building on and deepening earlier SGCI work, this project will support the councils to implement and pilot the necessary policy frameworks to promote public-private sector partnerships and it will involve sharing experiences among councils.


Specific objectives could include:

  • Support the councils to develop and operationalize policy frameworks and related strategies for research, innovation, and commercialization. Whereas IP policy frameworks/ strategies could be prioritized, other related frameworks (for example research frameworks and collaborative partnerships) are necessary to operationalize these policies and may be included.
  • Support the development and implementation of private sector engagement frameworks. This work will build on work carried out with the councils from Botswana and Ghana under SGCI-1 as well as ongoing work in Malawi, Uganda and Zambia. In the five countries where engagement strategies have been developed, the project could focus on their operationalization and piloting. The remaining countries could be supported to develop new engagement frameworks through various processes including stakeholder dialogues, case studies and business case development.
  • Provide technical support to the councils implementing projects that involve partnerships with the private sector. Some public-private partnership projects supported by the councils have generated products and processes with potential for commercialization. Analysis could be carried out to generate and share lessons and technical support could be provided to address various issues that may arise.
  • Develop and support the implementation of various tools (manuals, toolkits, model strategies and other materials) that the councils and their partners could use to strengthen the policies and related structures for effective private sector engagement and the commercialization of research results.


  • Theme 1: Strengthen the ability of science granting councils in research management
  • Theme 2: Strengthen the capacity of science granting councils to use data and evidence in policy and decision-making
  • Theme 3: Support the ability of science granting councils to fund research and innovation
  • Theme 4: Support strategic communications, uptake of knowledge outputs and networking
  • Theme 5: Strengthen the capacities of science granting councils in gender equality and inclusivity

Funding Information

  • Through a new SGCI partnership with the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and IDRC, funding of up to CAD$1,200,000 is available for this work over a period of approximately 34 months.

Eligible Countries

  • Botswana, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe

Eligibility Criteria

  • The Science Granting Councils Initiative in sub-Saharan Africa (SGCI) invites project proposals from organizations (including think tanks, institutes, universities and agencies) with proven experience and track records to support the councils in developing policy frameworks and enabling structures for private sector partnerships.