6 - Financing

6.4. Identifying new formulas for financing Innovation


Finding financial resources to enhance investment in R&D&i is one of the greatest challenges for companies. Developing creative approaches to developing financial aid to encourage collaboration and innovation is therefore a fundamental part of increasing investment in R&D&i and enhancing interaction with Universities.


Innovation voucher

This is an incentive programme for business innovation introduced in Oxfordshire (United Kingdom) which allows companies to purchase university research in a quantifiable manner, such as, for example, buying a certain number of hours of work by university researchers. This Innovation voucher or cheque for a maximum value of £8,000 is aimed at SMEs wishing to acquire support from Oxford or Brookes universities.

 This practice has also been developed in the Italian region of Veneto with the aim of boosting business cooperation with universities and supporting the implementation of joint R&D&i projects. The initiative provides up to €10,000 for the first R&D&i project developed by a company in collaboration with a university in the region. This financing tool was found to be extremely effective in acting as a catalyst for the establishing of innovative business projects, and a similar incentive system based on vouchers has also been implemented in Ireland with the aim of promoting innovation in SMEs and increasing their links with Universities.

Implementation process

Agents required for implementation

This recommendation could be implemented by a group of companies, although it could also be effectively developed in cooperation with Public Administrations and/or Universities.

View explanatory caption


  1. Interview with Mr. Berti. Research and Technology Transfer Office, University of Padua (Italy).
  2. Interview with Mr. Boesso, Director of the European department for technology transfer projects at Veneto Innovazione Technology Transfer Department (http://www.venetoinnovazione.it/ ).
  3. Interviews with Dr. Espejo, Programme Manager de Innovation Growth Team.
  4. Interviews with Mr. Waller, member of the County Council.
  5. Interviews with Mr. Barclay from the Regional Liaison Office at Oxford University, Oxfordshire (United Kingdom).
  6. http://www.innovationvouchers.ie - Initiative for the implementation of Innovation Vouchers in Ireland.