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Factsheet for measure IE-2007-1/2571 – measures in Ireland

Innovation voucher programme

Innovation Vouchers

Country Ireland , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 01 January 2007
Context Restructuring Support Instruments
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Reorientation of business activities
– Change of production/Innovation
Author Roisin Farelly (IRN Publishing) and Eurofound
Measure added 23 June 2022 (updated 11 November 2022)

Background information

The is available to assist a company explore a business opportunity or problem with a registered knowledge provider (a list of the registered providers can be found here ).Funding is organised by Enterprise Ireland.

The voucher offers significant support to struggling small companies that would otherwise find it difficult to access the knowledge providers. Enterprise Ireland has encouraged the knowledge providers to be proactive in engaging with the companies and to facilitate this engagement where possible.

Content of measure

A standard voucher is worth €5,000. Applicants can apply for just one of these standard €5,000 vouchers during one of the open calls. Applicants do not need to identify their knowledge provider in advance and the vouchers are valid for 12 months from the date of issue.

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; and
  • Innovation/technology audit.

Small and medium-sized companies may make use of a maximum of three vouchers, one of which must be a 50-50 co-funded fast track voucher.

Companies that have been approved funding from Enterprise Ireland in excess of €300,000 in the previous five years (includes funding under the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership programme) are not eligible to apply for a fully funded €5,000 Standard Innovation Voucher, but are eligible to apply for a co-funded Innovation Voucher, provided they satisfy all other eligibility criteria.

A company may have one ‘active’ voucher at any point in time. Companies should ensure that the voucher has been redeemed by the knowledge provider before applying for a subsequent voucher.

Co-funded fast track voucher: the value is €5,000 and the company contributes to 50% of the project costs in cash. Therefore, a company may use a fast track voucher to cover project costs up to €10,000 on a 50-50 co-funded basis. The company and the knowledge provider jointly agree on the work programme for the project in advance of submitting an application. Companies may wish to use this option when they are no longer eligible for a standard voucher (they may have used two or more standard vouchers) or where they do not have enough time and the schedule for the standard call is not suitable. This voucher application can be submitted at any time and a response may be expected within four weeks.

The Grafico company used the innovation voucher to fund development of a protoype of a stock management tool for beer kegs, Keg Monitor, at TEC centre at Cork Institute of Technology (

Use of measure

A 2014 Forfas evaluation of the initiative found that by the end of 2011 it helped small businesses to achieve an estimated €87,424,000 of cumulative net additional sales present value (PV) equivalent to sales of €8.29 per €1.00 of Enterprise Ireland (EI) investment; supported an estimated cumulative net additional EVA impact of €31,141,000 (PV), equivalent to an impact of €2.95 per €1.00 of EI investment; and supported 806 net full time equivalent jobs.

An independent survey of companies that participated in the Innovation Voucher Programme found an increase in company turnover of €11.83 per €1.00 of Enterprise Ireland investment (per the Voucher Programme). Some 97% of respondents were willing to recommend the programme to other businesses.

A 2014 Forfas evaluation found the voucher initiative was largely successful, detailing the following benefits: 'straightforward and cost effective to manage for Enterprise Ireland; accessible and utilised by a broad range of small businesses; beneficial to companies in many ways, including increasing competitiveness; and beneficial to knowledge providers in building new client partnerships, developing market relevant knowledge for academic staff and raising teaching levels.'

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown


The social partners are not involved in this voucher programme.

Views and reactions

There are no social partner views given for this voucher.



Eurofound (2022), Innovation voucher programme, measure IE-2007-1/2571 (measures in Ireland), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.