Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)


  1. Why was H3D Foundation (H3D-F) established?
  • H3D-F aims to position Africa as a global player in innovative pharmaceutical R&D by building infrastructure as well as the skills of scientists and researchers based in Africa. The Foundation further aims to serve as a convening platform and credible voice for evidence-based global health views. It was established in 2019 to build on the success of the University of Cape Town Holistic Drug Discovery and Development (H3D) Centre’s capacity development programs, which include the Global Health Mentorship Program and the Grand Challenges Africa Drug Discovery Program engaging more than 40 scientists in over six African countries with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Moreover, one of the key elements in the mission of the H3D Foundation is to advocate for the use of science in job creation and to create an absorptive capacity to identify, attract, develop, nurture and retain talent in drug discovery related sciences across the African continent. This aspect will be supported by the overall strategic goal to build drug discovery capacity and capability development activities across Africa.


  1. What is different/differentiating between H3D at UCT and the H3D Foundation? Can you explain how you will work together?
  • H3D Centre executes mainly laboratory-based projects using its equipment, expertise and infrastructure covering contract research or academic projects
  • H3D Foundation focuses on capacity development and strengthening
  • H3D Foundation has a formal affiliation agreement in place with UCT and all interactions between H3D-F and UCT are governed by the affiliation agreement. H3D-F and UCT work together on mutually beneficial, collaborative capacity building and strengthening projects as well as training initiatives.
  • We firmly believe that capacity development and/or strengthening has to take place in the context of project execution – therefore the Centre and the Foundation are well situated to complement each other towards this goal. This might involve training workshops, fellowships, mentorship programs, and other projects that do not require lab-based activities


  1. Are you a grant disbursement organization? Are you a funder?
    • Yes and No! Yes because the H3D Foundation seeks to raise funds to support capacity development in respect of strategic projects and/or sponsor training and development activities that align with the mission of the organization. No because we do not formally consider applications for funding.


  1. Will you be involved with drug discovery projects?
    • No, H3D-F will not be involved in the execution of lab-based drug discovery projects.


  1. If someone wants to set up a drug discovery capability [e.g. zebra-fish facility, African liver enzyme, computer aided drug discovery facility etc.], would you consider this in scope of the H3D Foundation or H3D at UCT?
    • H3D-F aims to support the establishment of drug discovery capabilities in Africa. The support could include access to networks, training, facilitating strategic collaborations or co-funding of strategic projects. We encourage researchers to reach out to H3D-F and share their strategy so that H3D-F can support as appropriate.


  1. Is the H3D Foundation only there to support H3D and South Africa? What is your country remit?
    • The H3D Foundation has a pan-African focus. We are already a key partner in the Grand Challenges Africa Drug Discovery Program which supports projects in Kenya, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria, Mali, Zimbabwe and South Africa. We welcome collaborations across the continent.


  1. Does the H3D Foundation only support drug discovery capacity building?
    • Our focus is on the full value chain, from early-stage drug discovery research through to clinical studies and related aspects such as manufacturing, regulatory affairs and post-marketing surveillance


  1. Who funds the Foundation?
    • H3D-F currently receives support from International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), philanthropic donations and project specific funding


  1. How can I donate towards this initiative? Can I donate from outside South Africa?
    • H3D-F website accepts individual donations through PayPal (see the website). H3D-F is currently in the process of applying for Public Benefit Organization (PBO) status and will be able to issue section 18a certificates to South African donors in the future


  1. How can I get involved?
    • Get involved with H3D-F through mentorship, scientific exchanges, partnerships in R&D, capacity strengthening activities, funding and joint projects
    • Reach out to us at info@h3dfoundation.org