• Status: Closed

  • Key features: Up to £5k funding for start-up, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to work with an external expert to gain the knowledge to innovate and grow. This voucher is only for cyber security advice including advice leading to certification under the Cyber Essentials Scheme.

  • Programme: Innovation Vouchers

  • Award: Up to £5k funding for SMEs

  • Opens: 27 Jul 2015, 08:00

  • Registration closes: No deadline

  • Closes: 20 Oct 2015, 12:00

  • Support phone number: 0300 321 4357

Cyber Security Innovation Vouchers - Round 13


The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is funding a special strand of Innovation Vouchers to help UK businesses get expert advice in protecting their business from cyber crime which could help them to achieve certification under the Cyber Essentials scheme.
You can get an Innovation Voucher worth up to £5,000 to pay for an external expert. This expert will give you advice on cyber security for your business and may be able to help you acquire certification through Cyber Essentials. You can also use the voucher for advice on how to protect new business ideas and intellectual property in cyber security. 
The Cyber Essentials scheme helps organisations protect themselves against common cyber attacks. It can help you develop a secure platform for your business activities. You can also get certification to show that you have taken these precautions. 
You may need Cyber Essentials if you are a supplier bidding for a government contract. Since 2014, all suppliers handling sensitive and personal information need Cyber Essentials.
There are 2 levels of certification available through the scheme:
  • Cyber Essentials – an external assessor reviews your responses to a questionnaire
  • Cyber Essentials PLUS - an external assessor carries out tests of your IT security systems
If you need advice and certification you will need two separate providers. You can use an Innovation Voucher towards the cost of Cyber Essentials PLUS. You cannot use it for Cyber Essentials alone but you may be able to use it to get extra advice that leads to Cyber Essentials.
You can use an expert from one of the following:
  • universities and further education colleges 
  • research and technology organisations 
  • technical consultancies 
  • Catapult centres 
  • design advisers 
  • intellectual property advisers

You can get more advice on choosing a cyber knowledge expert by downloading our guide.

Find out if you are eligible 

The eligibility for the Cyber Security Innovation Voucher is the same as the general Innovation Voucher scheme.

To qualify for an Innovation Voucher you must: 
  • be starting up or running a micro, small or medium-sized UK business 
  • have not worked with this expert before 
  • need help with something that's a real challenge for your business, not just a small improvement or change 
  • have not had an Innovation Voucher from Innovate UK or the Technology Strategy Board before 
If you need expert advice for an area other than cyber security, you will need to apply for a general Innovation Voucher-  more information here.

You cannot apply for both a cyber security and a general Innovation Voucher.

Unsure if your business is an SME? You can check the European definition of an SME here.

You cannot use an Innovation Voucher to fund:

  • staff training
  • equipment
  • off-the-shelf software
  • marketing or branding items
  • standard business advice

The Guidance for Applicants document will help you to decide if your project is eligible, or you can contact our helpline on 0300 321 4357 or by email: competitions@innovateuk.gov.uk.

Supporting documents




Application Process

Innovate UK will award Innovation Vouchers once every 3 months from October 2015. We enter eligible applications into a draw and choose winners at random.

You must apply online and register with our online network _Connect

You will need to answer a few short questions about your idea. You will also need to tell us the impact it could have on your business and the kind of supplier that you want to work with. We will also ask you about the size of your business and details of any public support you have received in the last three years. 

You should expect to take around 30 minutes to complete your application.

Important notice

Innovate UK will pay up to £5,000. The successful applicant is responsible for paying any VAT incurred.

An Innovation Voucher is issued to an individual business and is non-transferable