SMEs offered £5,000 “innovation vouchers”

The Technology Strategy Board are offering “innovation vouchers” to SMEs in all industries that would allow them to claim up to £5,000 to pay towards the cost of experience advice.

Innovate UK, in charge of the government’s innovation voucher programme says that:

“The funding encourages you to seek out fresh knowledge that can help your business to grow and develop.

“That could include advice on an innovative idea, learning more about using design within your business or how you should make the most of intellectual property.”

The first round of applications for Innovation vouchers will open on November 10 2014. Prior to this innovation vouchers had only been available to those working in specific area of technology and industry. However, under the new guidance from InnovateUK, entrepreneurs can now apply if the meet the following criteria:

  1. They need specialist help to meet a business challenge
  2. This is the first time they have worked with a knowledge supplier.

Rob Phillips, MD of Accutronics, has used innovation vouchers to help grow his business by paying for a consultant to draw up concepts for a more robust battery casing for defence and security markets. He says that:

“Every little helps when you are a small business with a hard pressed engineering team.

“It enabled fresh ideas to come in from outside without distracting us from the core money-making business.”

Five years on and Accutronics is a fast-growing business that exports specialty products, such as custom-made rechargeable batteries to 30 countries across the globe.


Image Credit


Words: Peter Cribley

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