Innovation Voucher Scheme

The University of Surrey’s 2019 Innovation Voucher Scheme funds collaborative projects between small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and our world-leading academics.


The 2019 Innovation Voucher Scheme aims to cultivate closer ties between UK SMEs and the University of Surrey. The vouchers allow SMEs to address complex challenges, drive product innovation and accelerate business growth by harnessing the University’s world-leading academic expertise and state-of-the-art facilities.


Each project should tackle a genuine challenge faced by an SME - an issue which can only be resolved through expert know-how or the use of specialist equipment - and must be delivered by the University of Surrey. We will work with you to understand your business needs and match you with relevant academics to scope an innovative project with clearly-defined tasks and outcomes.

Proposals may address, for example, specific barriers, develop or test new products or introduce new processes, helping your organisation to innovate and grow. Each voucher fully covers the cost of the services provided by the University and is expected to be valued at between £5,000 and £10,000. Innovative projects requiring larger amounts may be considered where the value can be justified.

Areas of academic expertise

We have a host of specialisms you can access as part of the scheme, for example:

Enterprise innovation and transformation
  • Business model innovation
  • Scaling up
  • Lean and agile experimentation
  • Leadership and change
  • Sustainable enterprise
  • Strategy and entrepreneurship
Engineering and physical sciences
  • Electronic and mechanical engineering
  • Computing, IT and cybersecurity
  • Advanced materials
  • Energy systems
  • Environmental sustainability
Health and medical sciences
  • Clinical research
  • Biosciences and medicine
  • Veterinary medicine
  • Experimental biology
  • Health sciences
  • Consumer behaviour

Application process

To apply for an Innovation Voucher your company must be a micro, small or medium-sized business located in the UK with fewer than 250 employees and an annual turnover of less than £50m or a balance sheet total of under £43m. None of the University staff members or interns (or their families) delivering the project can have an interest in the beneficiary company, e.g. be a shareholder or director.

How to apply

Please contact the scheme manager, Dan Bance, at to discuss your business needs and potential areas of collaboration with the University of Surrey. Dan will then guide you through the application process.

Applications will be assessed on a rolling basis and all projects must be completed by 31 July 2019.

Terms and conditions

The total number of vouchers is limited. Only one voucher will be allocated per company or project at the discretion of the scheme administrators. The voucher will be used by the University to cover in full the costs of the services provided to the beneficiary company. No money will be paid to the participating company, which is responsible for its own costs or contribution towards the project.

State Aid (De Minimis) Regulation

The Innovation Vouchers Scheme is subject to European State Aid (De Minimis) regulations which state that beneficiary companies must not receive more than €200k (c. £185k) of De Minimis aid over a rolling, 3-year fiscal period.

Other funding

There are other sources to help support your business such as:

  • Special financial support is available for SMEs as part of the INCluSilver project which aims to support SMEs in the field of personalised nutrition for the silver economy.
  • The SPace Research and Innovation Network for Technology (SPRINT) programme provides support to SMEs, helping them to compete and grow using space technologies and applications.
  • Our Impact Acceleration Account scheme accelerates the exploitation of current or recently completed funded EPSRC research, through the increased engagement with key stakeholders and project partners. We can provide your organisation with a range of opportunities including access to funding for pilot projects.
  • Our Business Development team can help your organisation to identify and apply for Innovate UK funding.