News story

Innovation vouchers for all smaller businesses

Innovate UK widens the appeal of £5,000 vouchers for small firms to seek expert advice.

Innovation voucher

Innovation vouchers are open to all kinds of smaller businesses from 10 November 2014. You can claim up to £5,000 towards the cost of expert advice if you are running an SME – or just starting up.

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 vouchersunder the new rules opens on 10 November.

Business challenge

Innovation vouchers had been available only to those working in specific technology areas.

Now you can apply if you just meet these simple tests:

• you need specialist help to meet a business challenge

• it’s the first time you have worked with the knowledge supplier

Accutronics used an Innovation voucher to pay for a consultant to draw up concepts for a new robust battery casing for defence and security markets. Five years on, the company is a thriving, fast-growing business exporting custom-made rechargeable batteries to 30 countries.

Managing director Rob Phillips said:

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.

For more information, visit Innovation vouchers .

Published 21 October 2014