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ERAWATCH

Platform on Research and Innovation policies and systems

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Innovation Voucher Scheme

Videnkupon

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Keywords
 
Research collaboration between SMEs and public research|SMEs|Innovation
Overview
 

The policy measure aims at an increased R&D and innovation capabilities of SMEs by fostering collaboration with public research institutions and RTOs, improving knowledge transfer and by strengthening quality and relevance of public R&D.

The Innovation Voucher has been introduced to inspire SMEs to utilise the opportunities and potential of knowledge institutions. At the same time, the Innovation Voucher Scheme is expected to enhance the awareness at knowledge institutions of the need for knowledge and thus secure the quality and societal relevance of public research.

The scheme is open for projects within all scientific fields and the administrative structure of the scheme is designed in a manner to reduce bureaucratic measures as much as possible for the project participants. The Council of Technology and Innovation is responsible for the scheme and has decided that state co-funding is channelled directly from the Danish Agency of Science, Technology and Innovation to the research or technological partners of the projects, relieving the SME from the burden of invoicing its project partner.

Source: The Innovation Voucher Scheme (October 2011)

Background and rationale
 

The policy measure aims at improving collaboration between public research institutions and RTOs and SMEs and fostering the R&D intensity and innovation capabilities of Danish SMEs. It will contribute to achieving the 3% target as has been formulated in the Globalisation strategy.

Policy Priorities
 

Highest priority addressed by this policy measure is strengthening R&D collaboration between SMEs and public research institutions and RTOs.

Main Policy Priorities
2.2.3 R&D cooperation (joint projects, PPP with research institutes)
Other Policy Priorities
2.2.2 Knowledge Transfer (contract research, licences, research and IPR issues in public/academic/non-profit institutes)
2.3.1 Direct support of business R&D (grants and loans)
4.3.1 Support to innovative start-ups incl. gazelles
Targeting specific sectors
 
0. No specific sector
Selected research and technnology fields
 
No specific thematic focus
Addressing Lisbon guidelines
 
Improvements in innovation support services, in particular for dissemination and technology transfer.
The creation and development of innovation to bridge the technology gap between regions
Start date
 
2008
Expected ending
 
No end date planned
Relationship to other measures
 
Novel measure: No

Replacing Existing Measures 1
If the measure is novel was it mainly:
 
Inspired by an existing measure of another country
How does the measure relate to other measures?
 

The measure was inspired by the Dutch innovation vouchers scheme. The Dutch measure intended to lower the threshold for SMEs to purchase expertise.

Geographic coverage
 

The measure covers Denmark.

Targets or beneficiares of the measure.
 
SMEs only
Higher educations institutions research units/centres
Other non-profit research organisations (not HEI)
Technology and innovation centres (non-profit)

Higher educations institutions research units/centres
Other non-profit research organisations (not HEI)
Technology and innovation centres (non-profit)
If more than one target group is eligible
 
Co-operation/networking mandatory (e.g. cluster programme)
Overall implementation structure of the measure
 

The policy measure is implemented by the Danish Council for Technology and Innovation. There is a limit of €2m for the project portfolio that can be funded by the Danish Council for Technology and Innovation. The SME gives 50% of the total funding and the research institution at least 25%.

A project shall start latest six months after receiving the award of the project from the agency. The participating research organisations and companies have to submit annually a financial report.

Sub-measure structure
 

There exist two different tracks:

  1. a basic voucher for a research-based business development project with a governmental co-funding level of 40%, but max. €14,000. Main focus in the basic voucher is the successful transfer of knowledge from research to SME, in order to place the SME and its activities in a position ahead of its market;
  2. an extended voucher with characteristics similar to a larger scale R&D collaboration project with a state co-funding level of 25%, but max. €67,000. Main focus of the extended voucher is finding new solutions to current problems. It is a prerequisite for the extended voucher projects that the participating knowledge institution itself carries out research on the field in question.
Management structure
 

The management of the measure is rather flat. The measure is organised after the principle 'first come, first served'. The proposal has to be sent to the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation. It has to include an agreement between the research organisation and the SME, a project description, an agreement on the dissemination of research results and IPR ownership, a budget and a declaration from the research institution. The research institution is responsible for the proposed research description and the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation is responsible for evaluating the proposal and for the final decision.

Review of progress
 

The participating research organisations and companies have to submit an annual financial report.

Selection criteria
 

Following selection criteria are applied:

  • the SME has to be a private enterprise;
  • the SME must have existed at least one year;
  • the project must not have received other public funding;
  • the company must be an SME with max. 250 employees;
  • the annual turnover of the SME should be max. €50m;
  • the SME should not have received public support over the last three years more than €0.13m (de minimum);
  • for the basic voucher the SME should not have bought knowledge service for more than €6,718 over the last three years.
Openness to EU countries
 

Project proposals may include also foreign research institutions if the level is assessed to be at least at the same level as equivalent Danish research institutions.

Openness to third countries
 

Project proposals may include also foreign research institutions if the level is assessed to be at least at the same level as equivalent Danish research institutions.

Selection process of projects / participants
 

There are no fixed calls for proposals. Project proposals will be evaluated continously after the principle 'first come, first served'.

What State Aid framework is applied to the measure?
 

The General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER) applies.

ModeOfFunding
 
Grants
Elegible costs
 
Labour costs (including overheads)
Other
Other: travel, knowledge dissemination

Sources of co-financing
 
Co-financed by the private sector

Overall budget in EUR
 
19 692 748
Exchange rate used (1 EUR = # in national currency):
 
7,462
Overall budget in national currency:
 
146 947 285
Years:
 
2011
6 553 203

2010
5 000 000

2009
6 872 807

2008
1 266 738

Further information
 

These budgets include also about 50% co-funding by the firms and at least 25% co-funding by the public research organisation.

Indicators specified ex ante
 
No
Support Measure evaluation
 
Ex-Ante: No
On-going/Mid-term: Yes
Final/Ex-post: No
If the programme was evaluated, what were the main findings?
 

A mid-term evaluation was conducted in 2009. The Evaluation Report concluded that the scheme generally worked as intended. The participating companies applied knowledge, which strengthens their research and development activities and provided them with an appropriate interaction with knowledge institutions. Knowledge institutions collaborated with new types of firms. Overall, the evaluation highlighted that the voucher projects created added value for both companies and knowledge institutions.

If no official evaluation has been undertaken is there any evidence which allows an appraisal of the success of the measure?
 

In 2008 the programme received six proposals, three of them received funding.

In 2009 the programme received 17 proposals, 13 received funding.

Results
 

The mid-term evaluation highlighted that the programme contributed to a better interaction between SMEs and public research organisations.

The vouchers have mainly supported the development of new products or processes in SMEs. It is likely that most of the projects would not have been initiated on the same level, although the government grant for the development project does not go to the SME but to the university or GTS institute participating in the project.

Further development
 

In Spring 2012 the scheme opened for new applications. In September 2012 new guidelines were published.

Website in original language
 
Website in English
Relevant further information
 
Guidelines: http://www.fi.dk/tilskud/forsknings-og-innovationsprogrammer/samspil-mellem-erhverv-og-vidensinstitution/videnkupon/retningslinjer/retningslinjer
Legal basis
 

Lov om Teknologi og Innovation nr. 419 af 6. juni 2002

Launching Agency
 

The Danish Council for Technology and Innovation (Rådet for Teknologi og Innovation)

Agency administering
 

The Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation (Styrelsen for Forskning og Innovation)

Funding Agency
 

The Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education (Ministeriet for Forskning, Innovation og Videregående Uddannelser)

Manager(s) responsible for the measure
 

Karina Lisberg

Correspondent name
 
Antje Klitkou
Document Date
 
27/11/2012

Country Highlights

INNO+ catalogue
Denmark 24/01/2014
In connection with the new innovation strategy the Danish Government has started a process that...
New minister of science and education
Denmark 03/02/2014
Sofie Carsten Nielsen (Radikale Venstre) has been appointed as the new minister of science and...
Cip logo Cip logo
 

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