If you are located in the Gaeltacht, own or manage a small limited company and want to explore a business opportunity or obstacle you can apply to Údarás na Gaeltachta for an Innovation Voucher worth €5,000. The voucher can be exchanged for advice and expertise from participating knowledge providers (universities, institutes of technology or publicly funded research bodies).
By participating in the Innovation Voucher initiative, you can concentrate on running your business while knowledge providers come up with a solution that could take your business to the next level.
All small registered limited companies in the Gaeltacht are eligible to apply for an Innovation Voucher. (A small enterprise is defined as an enterprise that has fewer than 50 employees and has either an annual turnover and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding €10m). The only exclusions are small enterprises in the transportation and agricultural sectors, in line with State Aid guidelines.
You are also free to join with other small businesses also in receipt of an Innovation Voucher to work with a knowledge provider in solving an issue of common concern, up to a maximum number of ten companies.
To apply, please click here.
Companies can approach any Institute of Technology, University or publicly-funded research organisation provided those research bodies have agreed to participate in the Innovation Voucher initiative. To see the list of participating knowledge providers, click here.
The knowledge provider and the company should also ensure that all agreements, for example agreements covering the work programme, costs, non-disclosure and intellectual property, be signed by both parties before the commencement of the project activity.
The value of the voucher is €5,000 which is used to offset the final costs of the project activity as agreed between the company and the knowledge provider. In the event that the final costs are greater than €5,000 the company will pay the balance.
When the work programme has been completed, the knowledge provider will invoice the company in relation to the agreed work programme. The company will then hand over the voucher and any additional monies required in payment of the invoice. The knowledge provider subsequently returns the voucher, and a short project report, to Údarás na Gaeltachta to claim the €5,000 reimbursement of the voucher.
Please note that the Innovation Voucher is exclusive of VAT.
A company may make use of the Innovation Voucher initiative as frequently as required. However, a company may have only one ‘active’ voucher at any point in time. A voucher becomes ‘inactive’ when the project activity has been completed and the voucher returned to Údarás na Gaeltachta by the knowledge provider. When a voucher becomes ‘inactive’ a company may then apply for a further voucher with a new innovative project. Please note that Údarás na Gaeltachta will not award a second voucher for a previously funded activity.
PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO ADVISE ÚDARÁS NA GAELTACHTA WHEN YOUR INNOVATION VOUCHER PROJECT HAS COMMENCED. YOU CAN DO THIS BY SENDING A SHORT EMAIL TO firstname.lastname@example.org WITH THE NAME OF YOUR KNOWLEDGE PROVIDER AND THE START DATE OF THE PROJECT.
Should you wish to contact the Innovation Voucher programme manager or are experiencing difficulty locating relevant expertise please email email@example.com or call 0035391 503100.