Funding boost for collaborative innovation

Helen Cross (Scottish Funding Council)

INNOVATION Voucher funding, aimed at encouraging partnerships between a Scottish business and a university or college, receive a boost in value for the first time since they were launched in 2009.

Standard Innovation Vouchers and Student Placement Innovation Vouchers now offer a value of up to £7.5k, a rise from £5k.

Each Innovation Voucher supports businesses to develop novel and pioneering products, services and processes or develop the company’s internal workforce such as new or enhanced workplace processes, practices and expertise in collaboration with a university or college partner. The collaborations also impact academic research and teaching while enhancing business skills and industry experience to the academic teams and students involved.

Interface manages the Innovation Voucher Funding on behalf of the Scottish Funding Council. Since 2009 almost 1,900 Innovation Vouchers have been issued with a value of over £9.5m.

Alan Pratt, Head of Systems and Finance at Interface said: “This increase in funding is a significant step in enabling more academic time to be funded for collaborative research and development projects. We find that businesses who work with academics for the first time through Innovation Vouchers establish long lasting links and go on to work on other projects with the same or other university or college partners. It really is the start of an exciting journey for many.”

Helen Cross, Director of Research and Innovation at the Scottish Funding Council, said: “Increasing the value of our innovation vouchers is great news for universities, colleges and the businesses they partner with.

“These partnerships are a fantastic way of combining academic expertise with the know-how and ambition of entrepreneurs wanting to create new products, services and processes. There have been some incredible examples of success in the last 14 years and today’s announcement is a commitment to that continuing into the future.”

To find out more about Innovation Vouchers, please visit the website

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