Innovation voucher grant
Topic of the practice
The capacity of many SMEs to hire skilled people for innovative projects and activities is limited and thus demand is likely to be higher than revealed in practice. Therefore a project-based programme can increase the SMEs interest and potential to hire innovation specialists. Moreover, the number of highly-skilled specialists is comparatively small.
Good Practice Information
Objective of this scheme is increasing competitiveness of Estonian SMEs through transfer of knowledge and technology, expansion of cooperation with R&D institutions and increase of capability of protection of intellectual property. Beneficiares are all SMEs and business organisations. The intermediary of the programme is Enterprise Estonia bearing full responsibility for implementation.
The support measure is easily transferable, but the local context has to be taken into account for the reasonable amount of the innovation voucher. Further, the decision-making process is fast (applications via on-line form, 10 days from application to funding (+10 days, if there is a need for external expertise) and relatively cheap. Electronic registry of companies is used as a support tool.
Evidence of success
There is no evaluation data on impact available. Based on the yearly evaluations, the funding was increased from 1m EUR to 2.9m EUR. Due to a big interest in the measure, the Enterprise Estonia performed a feedback survey among the entrepreneurs, and 91% of the entrepreneurs were very satisfied with the measure and 93% were eager to continue with the innovation vouchers.
Contact details to obtain further information on the practice
Tartu Science Park
Annex completed on: 11-14-2013