Innovation Voucher: FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

here you can find some common questions with regards the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Vouches.

Who is eligible for an IV?

The Innovation Vouchers initiative is open to all small and medium-sized limited companies registered in Ireland.

Small and medium-sized company definition (SME):
For the purposes of the Innovation Voucher Initiative, a small and medium-sized 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 250 and has an annual turnover total not exceeding €50m and/or an annual Balance Sheet total not exceeding €43m. (Exclusions: small and medium-sized enterprises in the agricultural sector are excluded in line with State aid guidelines).

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What is a small and medium-sized company as defined by Enterprise Ireland in relation to an Innovation Voucher?

  • Small and medium-sized enterprise is defined as a company or (if part of a group) a group of companies.
  • Total number of full-time employees in the company (or the entire group) is less than 250
  • Annual turnover total not exceeding €50m
  • Annual Balance Sheet total not exceeding €43m
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What can a Voucher be used for?

“Innovation Vouchers can be used for any kind of innovation such as:

  • new product/process development;
  • new business model development;
  • new service delivery and customer interface;
  • new service development;
  • tailored training in innovation management;
  • innovation/technology audit.

Vouchers can be exchanged for knowledge transfer projects from the knowledge provider.

For the purposes of this initiative, a knowledge transfer project is defined as one that transfers knowledge of a scientific, technological or innovative nature that it is new to the small enterprise. The small enterprise may then use the new knowledge to innovate a product, process or service.”

[From Enterprise Ireland website: 2018]


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When can I apply for a Standard Voucher?

There is three calls per year for standard voucher application. Please see Enterprise Ireland website for the details of the up coming voucher open call.

In general there is a open call every 3 to 4 months through out the year, with the next open call posted on the Enterprise Ireland website.

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What is a Co-Funded Fast Track Application (50-50)?

This is a match funded voucher where the company provides 50% of the funding in cash and Enterprise Ireland contribute the rest. It has a maximum value of €10,000 and can be applied for at any time. This type of investment is done to facilitate companies that have used up two or more standard vouchers or where time to market is critical and schedule for the standard call is not suitable.

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How many Innovation Vouchers can i apply for?

An eligible company is allowed to apply for up to three IVs. This is can be two Innovation Vouchers worth €5000  and a single 50-50 co-funded Fast Track voucher.

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What is a Standard Voucher?

It entitles you to €5000 worth of research to explore a business opportunity or problem. This must be completed with a registered knowledge provider but you don’t need identify your knowledge provider in advance. The voucher is valid for 12 months from the date of issue.

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What does the standard Innovation Voucher cost?

To avail of the €5,000 Innovation Voucher the company is required to pay the VAT on the voucher. Of course, being a limited company and registered for vat, you can claim this back through revenue.

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What ineligible activities does the IV not cover?

The Innovation Voucher may not be used to cover the costs of:

  • achieving compliance with statutory regulations or legislation;
  • standard training courses;
  • software purchases and software development;
  • aid that would promote/subsidise the cost of exports;
  • internships for students of knowledge institutions;
  • design and production of advertising material; branding;
  • sales activities;
  • business plans, business strategies, economic appraisals, costs analysis, general business consultancy;
  • standard website development and online optimisation;
  • standard mobile applications development;
  • activities such as market research and market surveys that may be readily provided by the private sector;
  • calorie & nutritional analysis, recipe development etc for all Food Service Outlet menus;
  • activities supported by the mainstream funding mechanisms available from other Development Agencies such as the Local Enterprise Offices;
  • activities unlikely to result in commercial enterprise or business capable of generating jobs and/or exports;
  • advice or assistance with the following areas;
    • Legal
    • Commercial law
    • Patents
    • Taxation
  • Training and mentoring;
  • Marketing activities, digital marketing activities, marketing plans & strategies

If potential solutions to the knowledge question already exist in the marketplace, then Enterprise Ireland is likely to reject the application on the basis that the proposed activity may be undertaken by the private sector.

[taken from Enterprise Ireland website: 2018]

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Exclusions for Innovation Voucher are?

The following are not eligible to apply for an Innovation Voucher:

        • Small and medium-sized 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
        • Sole traders
        • Company representation bodies
          • – Chambers of Commerce
          • – Sports Bodies & Associations
          • – Sports Clubs
          • – Non-commercial bodies or associations
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For a more comprehensive list please see Enterprise Ireland