Starting later this month, the Government will begin awarding financial support to startups in the form of £5,000 ‘Innovation Vouchers’.
Managed by the Technology Strategy Board, a Government agency designed with the aim of propelling the UK to the forefront of modern innovation, the vouchers will help owners of startups and small businesses in paying for expert advice and research from universities and private sector organisations.
The Innovation Vouchers are designed to help growing businesses gain access to helpful knowledge on challenging areas, such as managing intellectual property and using design to improve ideas. The collaborating universities are expected to provide help in developing new product ideas, services and processes.
Initially the vouchers will only be accessible to startups working within the agrifood and built environment sectors, though this may expand to other sectors if it proves successful.
However, thanks to support from the International Space Innovation Centre, firms creating innovation in the space sector will be able to compete for vouchers worth up to £8,000.
Considered the second big breakthrough this year by the UK innovation agency, the Innovation Vouchers scheme follows the grants programme launched by Cisco. While the Cisco grants scheme focuses on developing location based apps for startups in the UK, these vouchers are aimed at providing knowledge to new entrepreneurs.