• Status: Closed

  • Key features: Up to £5k funding for for start-up, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to work with an external expert to gain the knowledge to innovate and grow.

  • Programme: Innovation Vouchers

  • Award: Up to £5k funding for SMEs

  • Opens: 26 Jan 2015, 09:00

  • Registration closes: No deadline

  • Closes: 22 Apr 2015, 12:00

  • Support phone number: 0300 321 4357

Innovation Vouchers - Round 11


You can get an Innovation Voucher worth up to £5,000 to pay for an external expert to help your business grow.
You can use this expert to get advice on a novel idea or to use design within your business. You can ask them to help you make the most of intellectual property (IP). You can also use Innovation Vouchers to buy time and support on specialist equipment or facilities.
Innovate UK can help you find and choose 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

Find out if you are eligible 

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 
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


Application process

Innovate UK awards Innovation Vouchers once every 3 months in January, April, July and October. We enter eligible applications into a draw and choose winners at random. The competition runs throughout the year.
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 notes

Innovation Vouchers operate under de minimis State Aid regulations. There is an upper limit of €200k (approximately £165k) for all de minimis aid provided to any one business over a three-year fiscal period. See the Guidance for Applicants for more information.
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. 

Other innovation voucher schemes

There are other innovation voucher schemes available and Innovate UK has brought together a list of those currently available in the UK.
Before making an application you should find out which scheme best meets your needs by going to the Innovation Vouchers portal for more guidance.