Innovation Vouchers

Innovation Voucher

What is the Innovation Voucher?

The Innovation Voucher initiative was developed to build links between Ireland's public knowledge providers (i.e. higher education institutes, public research bodies) and small businesses.  Innovation Vouchers worth €5,000 are available to assist a company or companies to explore a business opportunity or problem with a registered knowledge provider.

Am I eligible?

The Innovation Vouchers initiative is open to all small limited companies registered in Ireland. Applications are not restricted to clients of Enterprise Ireland.

Are there exclusions?

Yes. Small enterprises in the agricultural sector are excluded in line with State aid guidelines.

Companies with charitable status, commercial semi-state companies, “not for profit” organisations, trade associations, company representation bodies such as Chambers of Commerce, Sports Clubs and other non-commercial bodies or associations are also ineligible to participate in the innovation voucher initiative.

Small Company Definition: For the purposes of the Innovation Voucher Initiative, a Small Enterprise is defined as a company or (if part of a group) a group of companies where the total number of full-time employees in the company (or the entire group) is less than 50 and has either an annual turnover and/or an annual Balance Sheet total not exceeding €10m. (Exclusions: small enterprises in the agricultural sector are excluded in line with State aid guidelines).


Eligibility Criteria and Conditions of Use

Companies may make use of a maximum of three vouchers, one of which must be a 50-50 co-funded Fast Track voucher.

Small companies that have been approved in excess of €300,000 in de minimis funding (includes funding under the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership programme) in the previous 5 years are not eligible to apply for a fully funded 5k Standard Innovation Voucher, but are eligible to apply for a Co-Funded Innovation Voucher provided they satisfy all other eligibility criteria.

A company may have one ‘active’ voucher at any point in time. Companies should ensure that the voucher has been redeemed by the knowledge provider before applying for a subsequent voucher.

Companies will not be eligible for further vouchers until their accounts with the knowledge providers are settled in full (including the payment of VAT).

Your voucher will also be accepted by registered knowledge providers in Northern Ireland as part of Enterprise Ireland’s arrangement with Invest Northern Ireland.

Please note that Innovation Vouchers are EXCLUSIVE OF VAT. You will be charged VAT by the knowledge provider and this cost MUST be settled separately by the company.


What type of vouchers are available?

  1. Standard Voucher: Standard €5k vouchers are available to assist a company explore a business opportunity or problem with a registered knowledge provider. You can apply for one of these standard €5,000 vouchers at any time and a response may formally be expected within four weeks. You do not need to identify your knowledge provider in advance and they are valid for 12 months from the date of issue. 

  2. Co-funded Fast Track Application:The value of the voucher is €5,000 and the company contributes 50% of the project costs in cash. Therefore, a company may use a Fast Track voucher to cover project costs up to €10,000 on a 50-50 co-funded basis. The company and the knowledge provider jointly agree on the work programme for the project in advance of submitting an application. Companies may wish to use this option when they are no longer eligible for a standard voucher (may have used two or more standard vouchers) or where time to market is critical. This voucher can be submitted at any time and a response may be expected within two weeks.

What can the Innovation Voucher be used for? Click here >>

What can the Innovation Voucher NOT be used for? Click here >>


I'm Interested - How do I apply?

  • Please note that you do not have to be a client of Enterprise Ireland, nor have an Enterprise Ireland Development Adviser to apply for a voucher.

All voucher applications must be made via the Enterprise Ireland Online Application System.

If you would like to discuss a project that you have in mind for an innovation voucher, click here to speak to an advisor >>


Knowledge Providers

To access the skills and research expertise in third level institutions you need to contact one of the knowledge providers listed below who have signed up to participate in the Innovation Vouchers initiative.

Click here for a summarised list: Client IV_KP database 2021.pdf (size 112.5 KB)

Click here for full list of providers: Innovation Voucher Directory 2021.pdf (size 209.9 KB)


More Information

For case studies, FAQs and contact details, click here >>