Countries usually resort to a pool of support programmes that seek to foster innovation in SMEs. In the European Union alone there are around 400 programmes that try to drive innovation especially in manufacturing industries. Innovation fostering support programmes on the one side seek to address the gap in the innovation eco-system by creating the often missing linkages between academic, industry and the government but also aim at the establishment of a range of innovation capacity of SMEs. However, In India innovation promotion measures often focus only on technology upgradation and transfer and fail to contribute to the establishment of an innovation eco-system, whereas cooperation and networking between different actors lead to innovation. Innovation Vouchers (IV) aim to encourage entrepreneurs to come forward with their own ideas-where they want to innovate and with whom they want to succeed. Innovation vouchers, widely used in different economies such as Australia, UK, Ireland, Austria, Germany, are a government support that are usually issued in the name of the company to access facilities, services, advice or expertise. Main objective of the voucher system is to create relationships between SMEs and academia (public and private research) in order to motivate knowledge transfer and/or tackle an issue that the business is facing (OECD, 2010). Projects that are typically being supported include

* New product and process developments
* New service developments
* New business model developments
* Product and service testing
* Trainings on Innovation Management
* Design development & validation
* Prototype development
* Idea validation

Programme Video

Innovation vouchers are small lines of credit provided by governments to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to purchase services from public knowledge providers with a view to introducing innovations (new products, processes or services) in their business operations. GIZ, jointly with the Ministry of MSME, Government of India, organised an ”International Workshop on Innovation Vouchers for Enabling SMEs’ to Innovate”, on 24 -25 November 2016, at The Claridges Hotels, New Delhi. The objectives of the two day workshop was to understand and analyse the design, structure, implementation mechanism, different approaches, and success and risks factors of “Innovation Voucher Programme (IVP), examine the appropriateness as well as feasibility of IVP for India and develop a roadmap for the adaptation of IVP as a support instrument to facilitate innovation in SMEs.