About Innovation Voucher Program (Seed Grant Funding Program):
With the advent of technology revolution in India, it has become necessary to process innovation among MSMEs and thus stepping forward towards this Tamil Nadu Government launched an initiative called Innovation Voucher Program (IVP) for MSMEs.
IVP is a flagship grant-in-aid programme with aim to forge and sustain collaboration between industry, academia and Government and also to enhance participation of MSMEs in science and innovation.
The aim of this move is to encourage innovation among MSMEs in the manufacturing sector as the acceleration of technology trends such as Industry 4.0, 3D printing and relaxation in regulatory processes for electric vehicles, defence and space manufacturing are creating new challenges and opportunities for the MSMEs.
Based on a model that has been successful in other parts of the world such as Europe and Australia, IVP encourages formation of a virtuous cycle (referred to as the Triple-Helix model) among MSMEs, Knowledge Partners such as academic and research institutions, and the government.
The program has two grants ranging from Rs 2-5 lakhs to support product and process innovation among MSMEs.
The program is being implemented by the Entrepreneurship Development and Innovation Institute (EDII) and the Department of Industries and Commerce.
The Government is launching an awareness campaign to encourage the MSMEs to take the initiative to identify the opportunities for innovation, partner with suitable Knowledge Partners and submit the proposals for the grant.
To take advantage of this program, it is important for knowledge partners to play a proactive role in this initiative of the government as information asymmetries might create challenges for MSMEs in finding suitable Knowledge Partners with relevant research capabilities.
Knowledge partners (especially AIIRF EDII) have a great opportunity to contribute to this program and benefit from it.
Types of funding available under Innovation Voucher:
(I) Voucher A: Grant amount of 80% of the total budget for approved activities, subject to a maximum of Rs.2.00 Lakh for development of Prototype or Minimum Viable Product. The rest 20% of the total budget has to be borne by the Applicant.
(ii) Voucher B: Grant amount of 50 % of the total budget for approved activities, subject to a maximum of Rs.5.00 Lakh for development of the final product innovation project. The other 50% of the total budget has to be borne by the Applicant.
The Grant is not transferable and projects with estimates less than Rs.1.00 Lakh will not be considered. Any estimate of cost in excess of the funding prescribed above in (i) and (ii) or escalation of costs will have to be met by the applicant.