There are three voucher schemes from the Scottish Funding Council. To take advantage of this funding, a business must be a Scottish-based SME. The University receives the Innovation Voucher funding and uses this to work on a problem or question of importance to the SME's business.

  • Standard Innovation Voucher: "SFC’s Innovation Voucher Scheme provides an opportunity for Scottish small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) to work with academic experts to help solve problems that may help expand their company and offer solutions which cannot be obtained commercially".
  • Student Placement Innovation Vouchers: "The scheme is aimed at building on existing relationships between SMEs and HEIs in Scotland to continue the development of an SFC standard Innovation Voucher award. A PhD/Masters student will be placed within the company to continue this development and work on a clearly defined project/timeframe with the intention that the outputs of the project can be adopted by the business and offer valuable business skills/experience to the student."
  • 'Follow-on' Innovation Voucher: "The awards are specifically intended to encourage existing partnerships that have previously collaborated and jointly received funding; this can include the Scottish Funding Council Innovation Voucher awards scheme or any other funded activity".

Standard Innovation Vouchers and Student Placement can provide up to £5,000 of funding. Follow On Vouchers enable projects to be further developed and can provide up to £20,000 of funding. Vouchers require matched input from the SME; for the Standard Innovation Voucher matching may be in kind, while the Follow On Voucher must be matched with cash.

The application form should be completed by both industry partner and the academic partner and Research & Innovation submits the application on the applicants' behalf.

The projects must be lead to develop new products, processes or services. Also, these projects must show potential to develop into a longer term or further partnerships with the University.

For more information on SFC Innovation Vouchers, contact Dr Miguel Rey by email (Miguel Rey) or by phone +44 (0)1224 274157. SFC Innovation Vouchers are administered on behalf of SFC by Interface. Contact Interface for more information on the support offered to Scottish-based SMEs.

Innovation Vouchers
  • Provide up to 50% of direct support for new collaborations between the University and SMEs
  • The maximum support from each voucher is £5K
  • The industry partner provides a match to the voucher in cash, in kind or a mixture
  • The industry partner must be a Scottish based SME
  • The collaboration should be a new one -  the partnership should not have received any other joint funding prior to the voucher application


Student Placement Vouchers
  • Only SMEs that have had a successful SFC standard innovation voucher award are eligible to apply.
  • The voucher should be used to continue the development programme from the original Innovation Voucher project.
  • The company should identify a clearly defined issue or opportunity that will benefit from PhD/Masters student interaction within their business to set timescales.
  • The company must have suitable premises to host a student for the duration of the project.
Follow On Vouchers
  • This scheme is intended to encourage existing partnerships between an SME that has previously collaborated with academia through any other voucher scheme or equivalent, e.g. a Highlands and Islands Enterprise Business Innovation Grant (BIG).
  • The follow on voucher can be used to:  
    • continue the collaboration with the original academic partner from the original Innovation Voucher
    • develop a collaboration in a new area with a research group drawn from a different department or institution
  • The award is up to £20,000, with a minimum of £5,000
  • The voucher amount must be matched in cash by the company 
  • Deadlines for Follow On Innovation Vouchers 2016: 
    • Friday 27th May 2016
    • Friday 29th July 2016
    • Friday 23rd September 2016
    • Friday 25th November 2016
  • Further deadlines will be announced 

  • Contact Dr Miguel Rey if you would like to submit an application