Scheme at a glance
- The purpose of a Standard Innovation Voucher is to encourage new first time partnerships between a company and a university or further education college.
- There are now 2 types of Standard Innovation Vouchers: Product/Process/Service Innovation Voucher - to support innovation to develop a new product, process or service for the company and Workforce Innovation Voucher - to support innovation to develop the company’s workforce (New/Enhanced Workplace Business Processes/Innovation Workplace Practices/Innovative Business Expertise).
- The value of a Standard Innovation Voucher is between £1,000 and £5,000, which covers the academic project costs and is paid directly to the university or college.
- The company contributes an equal value in cash or in kind (such as staff time, materials or equipment) or a combination of both.
- All SMEs, social enterprises and third sector organisations with main company operations in Scotland can apply for a voucher if they are partnering with a Scottish University or Further Education College.
- A company can only receive one Product/Process/Service Innovation Voucher. It is possible now to also apply for a Workforce Innovation Voucher (i.e. one with a university and one with a college) as long as these two projects are clearly distinct and not a continuation or duplication of original Innovation Voucher project.
- A company looking to further develop their innovative project should thereafter apply for a Student Placement Voucher or an Advanced Innovation Voucher if they wish to continue to partner with a particular academic team.
- Projects must be innovative (a novel/pioneering idea) and lead to either new products, services, processes or an innovative workplace business process/workplace practice/business expertise that will benefit the company, the academic institution and the Scottish economy.
- Businesses can also apply together to pool their vouchers to solve a common issue. (The Scottish Funding Council have set a maximum limit of 4 companies per Pooled Standard Innovation Voucher Application.) Please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Page 5 for a full explanation of the necessary documentation to be completed/submitted.
- If you require some assistance with the terminology used within the Application Form, please see the updated Glossary of Terms document.
Stages of application
- SME and academic partner meet to discuss idea / scope / eligibility / contracts / risk.
- SME and academic partner fill out the application form and sends to Interface. For any queries related to eligibility, the academic partner will complete the pre-submission form and send to Interface.
- Interface reviews and may ask for further information before sending to the Scottish Funding Council.
- Scottish Funding Council assesses the application and communicates a decision.
- Collaborative project between academic partner and business commences and a final report is produced on completion of the close out meeting.
- On receipt of the final report to Interface the Scottish Funding Council makes payment to the academic partner.