The Government of Tamil Nadu has initiated the Innovation Voucher Programme (IVP),a grant-in-aid scheme to encourage research and innovation among MSMEs and start-ups in the manufacturing sectors. This scheme envisages to leverage the strengths of academic and research institution as Knowledge Partners (KPs) to support MSMEs, in innovation.
This scheme is implemented through the Entrepreneurship Development and Innovation Institute (EDII),an autonomous institution of the Government of Tamil Nadu. Modelled on international best practices, the IVP encourages the MSMEs and start-ups to utilize the services of a knowledge partner for furthering their innovative enterprises at the stage of pre-development and product or process development activities using two types of vouchers: ‘Voucher A’ and Voucher B’.
Voucher A: can be utilized for innovation potential analysis prior to the development of a new product or Production process, including but not limited to creation of Technology road map, market research, Product feasibility studies, Financing plan, Technology Audit, Material studies, Design studies, Research and Development (R&D)for creating a new product or process. The Grant under this voucher is 80% of the product cost to the maximum of Rs.2.00 lakhs.
Voucher B: can be utilized to promote an existing or early stage company to quickly assessing potential markets by developing an innovative commercial product and includes activities leading to not limited to : Service engineering Prototyping, Design services, Technology Transfer and IP procurement, Product testing, Quality Assurance, validation and certification, Project Management. The grant under this voucher is 50% of the product cost to the maximum of Rs 5.00 lakhs.
Knowledge Partner is an organization that can support the research requirement of the MSMEs, including
National research institutions (CSIR Labs CLRI, etc),
Reputed MHRD/UGC/AITE recognised Institutions,
Research labs of large industries, and
Product design consulting firms and design labs with sufficient experience.
The process to avail the innovation voucher is as follows:-
An MSME/start-up registered in Tamil Nadu having a research idea approaches a potential KP
MSME and KP agree on the research required, and KP provides a quotation for the cost involved.
MSME applies to EDII for grant.
EDII evaluates the proposal through the technical and steering committees.
Once cleared EDII, MSME/Start-up and KP enter into a tripartite agreement and EDII releases the fund to the KP directly in two instalments.
As per G.O. (MS) No:17, MSME(D2) Department dt. 19.06.2018, an amount of Rs. 20.00 crore (Rupees Twenty Crore Only) has been sanctioned for establishing of Innovation Voucher Programme in Tamil Nadu to support 400 Entrepreneurs every year which will include a maximum cost of 10% of the budget allocation towards administration, training, documentation and awareness creation.