Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation how many innovation vouchers have been awarded to companies based in County Waterford.
REPLY (Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton):
The Enterprise Ireland Innovation Voucher Initiative was introduced in 2007 in order to drive an on-going innovation culture shift within small enterprise by promoting and encouraging knowledge transfer between Ireland’s public knowledge providers and the small business community and creating greater synergies between the two.
Under the initiative, vouchers worth €5,000 are allocated to small business whose proposals, to work with public knowledge providers on specific innovation issues, meet certain criteria. The Innovation Voucher Programme has been running successfully since its inception and it continues to meet an important need in the small business sector.
Enterprise Ireland recognises that an important source of knowledge, expertise and competitive advantage which is available to Irish companies is to be found in the Research Departments of our Institutes of Technology and Universities.
The Innovation Voucher scheme gives small companies access to this vast source of innovative acumen and in so doing acts as an important facet of knowledge transfer from these Higher Education Institutions (HEI’s) to industry. These Vouchers can be used by the companies to purchase advice and knowledge that is new to the company.
Since the programme’s launch, in 2007, 464 Vouchers, with a total combined value of €2.3 million have been awarded to companies based in county Waterford, as detailed in the table below: