News article

Innovation Vouchers: May 2020 call

4 May 2020

Call for applications opens Monday 4 May until 15:00 on Friday 29 May 2020

Businesses in Northern Ireland can apply online for up to £5,000 worth of Innovation Vouchers. The vouchers are available from Invest Northern Ireland (NI).

What are Innovation Vouchers?
Innovation Vouchers allow businesses or potential entrepreneurs to work with public sector knowledge providers on an innovation project.

There are currently 41 registered knowledge providers - ie universities, colleges and technical institutes - in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The vouchers allow you to access the skills and expertise of these providers to help you create or improve products and services.

(Some knowledge providers may be limited in what they can currently deliver given that they are remote working and may not have access to all facilities and equipment.)

Types of projects eligible for Innovation Vouchers
Typical projects Innovation Vouchers may support include:

  • ideas for new and improved products, processes and services
  • access to specialist expertise on new materials
  • tapping into research and scientific expertise

You can use vouchers to resolve a specific business issue, particularly if you don't have the expertise, technology or facilities to deal with it.

Applications are particularly welcome for projects that might help alleviate issues that businesses are facing as a result of COVID-19.

Apply online for Innovation Vouchers
To apply for Innovation Vouchers, you must complete Invest NI's online application form.

Applications are welcome from SMEs, new start-ups and pre-trading entities including potential entrepreneurs with a project that could be commercialised.

As this is the first call of a new five-year Innovation Vouchers programme, it effectively starts with a ‘clean slate’ so all applicants start afresh and can avail of three vouchers in the next five-year period (one voucher at a time). The first voucher is funded at 100 per cent of the project cost to max £5,000 (customers pay the VAT).

The deadline for applications is 15:00 on Friday 29 May 2020.

First published 4 May 2020