Published on 03/12/2021
Innovation Vouchers
  • The Innovation Vouchers project offers support to businesses registered or trading in Birmingham, Solihull, Redditch, Bromsgrove and Wyre Forest
  • Grants of £2,500 will be allocated to over 100 SMEs over the life of the project
  • Innovation workshops will support businesses with marketing, strategy, and leadership skills

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in parts of the West Midlands in need of a cash injection to drive innovation and growth have until 8 December to submit their application for an Innovation Voucher.

The Innovation Vouchers scheme is a European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) project managed by Aston Business School in partnership with Birmingham City University.

For every £1 a company can put up towards innovation and growth, it will be matched with a £1 contribution from the project (up to £2,500)

The project offers support to businesses registered or trading in Birmingham, Solihull, Redditch, Bromsgrove or Wyre Forest.

The support includes grants of £2,500 to be allocated to over 100 SMEs over the life of the project, and innovation workshops to support businesses with marketing, strategy and leadership skills. Additional series of innovation workshops will be running in early 2022.

Nick Theodorakopoulos, professor of entrepreneurship development and Innovation Vouchers project director at Aston Business School, said:":

“This is a fantastic opportunity for SMEs in those areas of the West Midlands to fund external support to promote innovation in their business and help develop new products, services or internal processes.

“The Innovation Vouchers scheme targets SMART specialisation sectors and aims to develop new processes and systems to improve efficiency of small to medium-sized companies (SMEs) and to bring new products and services to market.

“I look forward to welcoming the 80 SMEs who have already received grants onto the scheme, and hearing of more success stories in the future after our cohort of SMEs completed our innovation workshops. We currently have over 50 businesses who have taken part in the Innovation Workshops, with an additional two more series in Q1 2022.”

Find out more on how you can apply HERE.

Grants are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis, so the sooner you submit your application the better chance you have at getting your application approved.

Notes to Editors

About Innovation Vouchers

The project is receiving up to £803,273 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund.

Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Alec Cameron is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston University was named University of the Year 2020 by The Guardian and the University’s full time MBA programme has been ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking. The Aston MBA has been ranked 12th in the UK and 85th in the world.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44)744691 0063 or email: s.cook2@aston.ac.uk

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Sue Smith, Head of Press and Communications
    0121 204 3521
    s.p.smith@aston.ac.uk

Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager
    0121 204 5065
    s.cook2@aston.ac.uk

Rebecca Hume, Press and Communications Manager
    0121 204 5159
    r.hume@aston.ac.uk

Nicola Jones, Press and Communications Manager
    n.jones6@aston.ac.uk

Alternatively, email pr@aston.ac.uk

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