There are two types of Standard Innovation Vouchers:

  • Product/Process/Service Innovation Voucher – to support outward innovation to develop a new product, process or service – read our case study from McCormack Innovation to see how this voucher has supported the development of new wound dressings.
  • Workforce Innovation Voucher – to support inward innovation to develop the company’s internal workforce such as new or enhanced workplace processes, innovative workplace practices and innovative business expertise. This does not include staff CPD or to finance any external training courses. This is best demonstrated by James Frew who developed a new HR training tool.


Template Forms

  • Standard 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 Standard 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)
  • Standard Innovation Voucher Legal Agreements – (A legal template agreements agreed by all Universities to be used by the collaborative Company/University or College -  please note this is a condition of accepting the Innovation Voucher award and the terms of these agreements are not subject to any amendment)
  1. Standard Innovation Voucher Legal Agreement (in-kind only)
  2. ​Standard Innovation Voucher Legal Agreement (in cash & in-kind)


Top Tips for Completing Innovation Voucher Application Forms:

  • 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 attempt to draw out the “benefits” to the Company, University/College and do not forget the “Scottish Economy”.


Scheme at a glance

  • Purpose - to encourage new first time partnerships between a company and a university or further education college (FEC).
  • Value - between £1,000 and £5,000 (covers the academic project costs and is paid directly to the university/FEC).
  • Company contributes an equal value in cash or in-kind (such as staff time, materials or equipment) or a combination of both.
  • All SMEs, social enterprises/third sector organisations with main company operations in Scotland can apply for a voucher if they are partnering with a Scottish University or FEC.
  • A company may only receive one Product/Process/Service Innovation Voucher (with a University or a College).
  • A company may also receive one Workforce Innovation Voucher (with a University or a FEC). Provided the two projects are clearly distinct and not a continuation or duplication of the original Innovation Voucher.
  • Projects must be innovative (a novel/pioneering idea) and lead to either new products, services, processes or an innovative workplace business process/workplace practice/business expertise that will benefit the company, the academic institution and the Scottish economy.
  • Businesses can also apply together to pool their vouchers to solve a common issue. (Max limit of 4 companies). Please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Page 5 for a full explanation of the process.

Stages of application

  1. SME and academic partner discuss idea / scope / eligibility / contract / risk.
  2. Clarify any queries on eligibility via 
  3. SME and academic partner complete application form and send to
  4. Due diligence by Interface which may seek further clarification prior to submission to Scottish Funding Council.
  5. Scottish Funding Council assesses the application and communicates a decision by email to academic partner.
  6. Contract is put in place between academic partner and business ahead of collaborative project commencing.
  7. Final report is produced on completion of the close out meeting and submitted to
  8. 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