Innovation Vouchers

Innovation Vouchers

What are Innovation Vouchers?

Innovation Vouchers are designed to encourage businesses to look outside their current network for new knowledge that can help them to grow and develop. Start-ups and small and medium-sized businesses from across the UK can apply for an Innovation Voucher.

A grant of up to £5000 is available to businesses to work with a supplier for the first time and is used to pay for knowledge or technology transfer from that supplier.

The voucher has three key criteria:

  • The idea that you want help with should be a challenge for your business that means you need to look for specialist help
  • This should be the first time that you have worked with the knowledge supplier
  • Your idea should be applicable to one of the three priority sectors

Benefits to business

An Innovation Voucher should stimulate a company to explore bringing new knowledge into the business, enhancing its ability to develop innovative products, processes and services and explore new markets.

Innovation Voucher schemes were originally designed to encourage companies to work with universities. The Technology Strategy Board’s Innovation Voucher scheme is now open to a wider range of potential suppliers, and can support all kinds of innovative R&D ideas, help you learn more about using design in your business, or look at how you manage your intellectual property.

The voucher will give you experience of how to work collaboratively with others as well as helping you to move forward with a particular idea. The voucher can also be used to help you think through an idea that might lead you to apply for another Technology Strategy Board or European competition or grant.

Who is eligible?

This scheme is open to micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) only, as defined by the EC. The application process will help you to decide if you are eligible if you are unsure.

You must also be eligible to receive grant funding under EC de minimis state aid regulations. There is an upper limit of €200k (approximately £165k) for all de minimis state aid provided to any one business over a three-year period. We will ask you to confirm this when you apply.

Our priorities

The Technology Strategy Board is to invest up to £6m in Innovation Vouchers to help stimulate and promote innovation in sectors where fewer businesses are currently investing in innovation and we want to encourage more of them to start.    Themes for each round will be announced on the Innovation Vouchers site.

We will also run schemes with partners; for example working with the International Space Innovation Centre on projects applicable to the Space sector and with the Data Strategy Board and Open Data Institute on Open Data for Innovators and Inventors..

We are interested in any innovative approach to the idea you identify. We can support all types of innovation – for example ideas for new or improved products, new or improved processes, new or improved services, investigating new markets or managing your intellectual property.

The key issue you need to be clear on is that this should represent a real challenge for your business, not just a small improvement or change to what you currently do.

How do I find out more information or apply?

To find out more about Innovation Vouchers go to the Innovation Vouchers portal. You can also join the Innovation Vouchers group on _connect to get latest updates.  Dates when the application system will be open for each round will be listed on the Innovation Vouchers site.


Last updated on Friday 14 December 2012 at 10:43

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