The University of Surrey has announced that the SME Innovation Voucher Scheme is now open and accepting applications!
The Innovation Voucher Scheme is specifically designed to promote collaborative innovation between the University of Surrey and SME companies in the UK. This is an opportunity to address complex challenges, drive product innovation and accelerate business growth. This is your chance to take advantage of the University’s world-leading academic expertise and state-of-the-art facilities.
Often the smaller businesses find the cost of specialist expertise prohibitive; but the Innovation Vouchers will help cover the costs of projects using the University’s facilities and/or its academic staff – giving your business a real boost.
Vouchers are expected to be worth between £5,000 and £10,000, but projects requiring larger amounts will be considered where the value is justified.
The vouchers will be allocated to successful SME applicants who wish to engage with the University and its academics in order to develop or improve its products, services or processes that will benefit the company. This is expected to involve mainly consultancy and technical services.
The vouchers will cover the cost of the services delivered by the University to the SME.
Don’t delay in submitting an application as the work must be completed and the voucher spent in full by the 31st March 2018.
To help you consider if you can benefit from this scheme, here are a few examples of academic innovation and expertise available:
- Health and Medical Sciences: clinical research, veterinary medicine, experimental biology, biosciences and medicine.
- Enterprise Innovation & Transformation: strategy and entrepreneurship, leadership and change, business model innovation.
- Engineering and Physical Sciences: energy systems, environmental sustainability, electronic and mechanical engineering.
To apply for an Innovation Voucher your company must be:
- A start-up, micro, small or medium-sized company
- Located in the UK
- Employ fewer than 250 people
- Have an annual turnover of less than £50 million or a balance sheet total of under £43 million.
Projects to be funded must meet the following criteria:
- Be delivered by the University of Surrey
- Address a real challenge
- Require specialist expertise
- Be aligned with the expertise and research interests of one or more of the University’s academics
- Could lead to future collaborative interactions
1. Find a match
If you have an idea or business challenge and need assistance in finding an appropriate match, contact the scheme manager Ian James (firstname.lastname@example.org).
2. Submit your application form
Once you have a match, complete the application form and send it in to the scheme manager.
3. Your application is assessed
Your application will be assessed and, if approved, the scheme manager will initiate the consultancy services process and approvals within the University. You will then be issued with a services agreement.
4. Your project is approved
Once your project is approved the scheme manager will then use the information in the form to complete the consultancy services process and approvals within the University. You will then be issued with a services agreement to sign and the collaborative work can then commence.
5. After completion
The scheme manager will contact the SME on completion of the work to confirm they are happy with the deliverables and collect feedback.
Note the Terms and Conditions
- None of the University staff members or interns delivering the project can have an interest in the beneficiary company (e.g. a shareholding or directorship).
- Only one voucher per company or project.
- The voucher is used to cover the costs of the services provided.
- No money will be paid directly to the beneficiary company.
- Innovation Vouchers runs under European State Aide regulations and it is your company’s responsibility to adhere to.