The Advanced Innovation Voucher (AIV) is aimed at building susained relationships between small/medium-sized companies (SMEs) and universities or Further Education Colleges (FEC).


There are four deadlines for application for Advanced Innovation Vouchers in 2022:

  • Thursday 30th June, 5pm. 
  • Wednesday 31st August, 5pm. 
  • Friday 7th October, 5pm.
  • Monday 5th December, 5pm. 

Please get in touch via to express interest, or to discuss options and eligibility in relation to the voucher.


Scheme at a glance

  • Purpose -  aimed at building sustained relationships between small/medium-sized companies (SMEs) and universities or Further Education Colleges (FEC) in Scotland who may have previously collaborated together or for those companies who are beginning their collaborative journey with a HEI / FEC partner.
  • This programme will draw on a number of funders including Scottish Funding Council, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise.
  • This Voucher offers a matched grant of up to £20,000 on a sliding scale basis with a minimum cash contribution required from the company [please see FAQs - Page 3]. Minimum Grant is £5,000.


Template Forms

  • Advanced Innovation Voucher Application Form – (Form to be jointly completed by the Company and University/College and formally submitted by the relevant Academic Organisation)
  • Staff Costs - Sample Timesheet – (Document that may be used by the Academic as an aide-memoir to record their Project Costs – Does not require to be submitted to the Panel)
  • Pre-Submission Information – (If the Company does not have Scottish Company Registration – A Form to Complete for initial assessment for Sole Traders/Partnerships/Companies with English Registration etc)


Extensive guidance is available to help complete the Advanced Innovation Voucher Application Form

  • Glossary of Terms – (Brief Explanation/Description of terminology  used within the Forms - for Companies who are newly engaging in the grant application process)
  • Step by Step Guide – (Provides assistance on a Question by Question basis on how to complete the Application Form)
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – (Details the Application Process/Eligibility Criteria/Explanation of De minimis/Explanation of Intellectual Property/Project Change Issues etc)
  • Advanced Innovation Voucher Legal Agreement – (A template Legal Agreement agreed by all Universities to be used by the collaborative Company/University or College - please note this is a condition of accepting the Voucher award and the terms of this agreement are not subject to any amendment)


Top Tips for Completing the Advanced Innovation Voucher Application Form:

  • Your idea must be “innovative” (novel and pioneering) and more than merely “new to the Company”
  • Within the Project Summary Response demonstrate it is a  “Collaborative” Project requiring the skills/expertise of both the Company and the Academic?
  • Ensure in the Innovation Response you clearly articulate the “innovative” systems/science/algorithms/AR etc that require to be implemented within the project.
  • Make sure you clearly formulate your response to the “Potential Impacts” (not just Economic but in particular Environmental/Equality/Diversity and Social Inclusion).
  • Within the Application clearly articulate “benefits” to the Company, University/College and do not forget the “Scottish Economy”.
  • Consider what impacts will be delivered (new products/processes/services and the forecasted value in terms of sales, turnover, savings productivity etc).


Stages of application

  1. SME and academic partner discuss the collaborative idea/scope/eligibility/contract/risk.
  2. Clarify any queries on eligibility (if not a continuing collaboration you may require a Pre-Submission form) via 
  3. SME and academic partner review FAQs and establish the project scope and milestones which determine the overall costings for the project.
  4. SME and academic partner complete application form and send to
  5. Due diligence by Interface which may seek further clarification prior to submission to Scottish Funding Council.
  6. The Multi Panel assesses the application and the Scottish Funding Council communicates a decision by email to academic partner.
  7. Contract is put in place between academic partner and business ahead of collaborative project commencing.
  8. Final report is produced on completion of the close-out meeting and submitted to
  9. On receipt of the final report the Scottish Funding Council makes payment to the academic partner.

Download Application Pack

  Download Step by Step Guide  Download FAQs