GreenConServe Service Innovation Voucher
Topic of the practice
to support Service companies defined as SMEs; To transform the construction sector into a greener, value-adding service industry by providing small grants that can be exchanged for technical and business expertise to support innovation processes.
Good Practice Information
The GreenConServe Innovation Voucher – a demand side measure for technology transfer – support the transformation of the construction sector into a greener, value-adding service industry by providing small grants that can be exchanged for technical and business expertise to support innovation processes. The goal is to develop the service industry for sustainable construction, improving the carbon footprint of the sector..
The voucher scheme is a two-step voucher, where SMEs need to use both technical and business support to get their innovation project off the ground. The first half is worth up to 7,500 Euros and should be used for technical consulting, while the second half is worth the same amount and must be used to acquire business development expertise. Together the two step voucher is worth up to 15,000 Euros. Vouchers can only fund 50% of a project’s costs, while the SMEs need to contribute the other half, and they must be used to acquire external consultancy. The amount awarded is intended to cover 20 days-worth of expert assistance.
SMEs that received vouchers were required to report the outcome of the project and provide financial statements at project end. The project report and financial statements are approved by GreenConsServe, in relation to the conditions: innovation level; revenue and value creation above industry average; international potential; and whether the project was transformative, scalable and sustainable. Evaluation is carried out by a client manage, who is in charge of following up proposals and evaluating against ex-ante targets.
Evidence of success
In the framework of the GreenConServe project (under the CIP – Europe INNOVA initiative), Innovation Norway pilot tested the service innovation voucher scheme offering technical and business expertise support to Norwegian SMEs in the construction sector. The agency designed its own voucher scheme, to fit the national context and the specific market conditions. Administered by Innovation Norway, the pilot project is running from mid-2010 to mid-2012, with a budget of €225,000. Each voucher is worth a maximum of €15,000 (modelled on a similar French scheme), but this was expanded to €30,000 mid-way through the pilot in recognition of higher prices in Norway than in France.
Contact details to obtain further information on the practice
Annex completed on: 09-24-2012