The RISA mission is to provide grants to fund homegrown solutions to the continent's toughest challenges.

The ‘Research and Innovation Systems for Africa’ Fund is a programme to support and strengthen research and innovation systems in six countries: Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, and Ethiopia. The programme runs from 2021 to 2025 and is funded by UK International Development from the UK Government.

Flourishing research and innovation systems help to drive inclusive economic growth and development.

That’s why the RISA Fund is supporting African institutions tackling the continent’s most complex social, economic, and health challenges. Research institutes, think tanks, universities, private sector organisations, international and national NGOs are all eligible to apply for a competitive RISA grant. By building sustainable partnerships, and through its grants, the RISA Fund supports these institutions to access the knowledge, partners, investors, and markets they need to generate actionable research and influence policy. Actionable research drives technology, products, and businesses.

Our purpose and focus

The RISA programme has three objectives:


Research institution and system strengthening.

To support research organisations capabilities in producing relevant, high-quality research, and to create an enabling environment for researchers and research organisations.


Innovation system strengthening.

To strengthen the enablers for the scaling of new and emerging technologies with the high potential for poverty reduction and inclusive growth.


Strengthening synergies between research and innovation systems.

To identify and support linkages between research and innovation systems that will improve their integration and coordination.

The Fund also seeks to:

Build intellectual capital in target countries.

Diversify innovation and research talent pools.

Provide access to financing.

Support networking to facilitate productive relationships within national research communities.

Where we’ve come from

The RISA Fund brings together two pre-existing programmes funded by UK International Development from the UK Government into one new, joint fund. The two complementary programmes are called Strengthening Research Institutions in Africa (SRIA), and the African Technology and Innovation Partnerships (ATIP), which are designed to support a more effective realisation of the synergies between research and innovation systems. Their work will continue under the new banner of the RISA Fund.