Innovate UK Innovation Vouchers

Available if you are a start-up, micro, small or medium-sized business located anywhere in the UK

Up to £5,000 for your business to obtain the help of an external expert to develop ideas and improve performance

An Innovation Voucher provides funding so that your business can work with an external expert for the first time, gaining new knowledge to help your business innovate, develop and grow.

Help from an expert could include advice on an innovative idea, learning more about using design within your business or the management and use of intellectual property.

Innovate UK's national Innovation Voucher scheme enables your business to obtain help from a range of expert suppliers - universities, further education colleges, research & technology organisations, technical consultancies and Catapult centres, design advisers and intellectual property advisers.

Innovation Vouchers are allocated following a draw from all applications, and if successful, your business will be awarded an innovation Voucher of up to £5,000 to work with an expert supplier of your choice. You can spend more if you wish with the supplier, but Innovate UK will only reimburse up to the £5,000 level - you must pay any VAT charged.


  • you need to be a start-up, micro, small or medium-sized business located in the UK
  • this should be the first time that you have worked with your chosen knowledge supplier
  • the idea that you want help with should be a challenge for your business that means you need to look for specialist help
  • your idea should be applicable to one of the priority themes
  • you have not had an Innovation Voucher from the Technology Strategy Board before

The Innovation Voucher will give you experience of how to work collaboratively with external experts as well as helping you to move forward with a particular idea. The Innovation Voucher can also be used to help you think through an idea that might lead you to apply for other types of support.

Innovation Vouchers cannot be used to fund staff training or to buy equipment, off-the shelf software, or marketing or branding items. They also cannot be used to procure standard business advice.

How it works

  • Provide details of your business and answer a few simple questions about why you want an Innovation Voucher and what you plan to do
  • Around 100 applications are randomly selected every 3 months to give everybody a fair chance
  • If successful, you choose a supplier to work with and carry out the work
  • 6 months to use the Innovation Voucher and claim the funding from Innovate UK
  • You provide a short summary with your funding claim on how you have used the Innovation Voucher and a supplier report and invoice

Choosing a knowledge supplier

You may already have an idea where to find the expertise you are looking for and would like some other options to consider, or perhaps you are just starting to think about what kind of supplier could provide the knowledge you need.

To get started view the full guide on how to find a supplier »

For more information contact:

Scheme Provider

Innovate UK


0300 321 4357




Innovate UK, The Technology Strategy Board, North Star House, North Star Avenue, Swindon, SN2 1UE