The Science Initiative Group (SIG), was established at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ in 1999 to provide scientific and administrative oversight for the Millennium Science Initiative (MSI), with which it was active through 2012. In 2008, SIG created the Regional Initiative in Science and Education (RISE) to support scientists and engineers pursuing master's and doctoral degrees in selected disciplines through regional, university-based networks in sub-Saharan Africa.

As of April 2017, SIG had succeeded in its goal of transferring to the beneficiary countries primary responsibility for the programs it incubated, and SIG's staff and board members now function as a group of individual advisors for STEM capacity building initiatives in developing countries.