Productivity and Innovation Voucher Program

Program Description

The 2014-2015 round of the Productivity and Innovation Voucher Program is now open for applications.

A "productivity and innovation voucher" is a credit note that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can use to acquire help from Nova Scotia universities and colleges to make their businesses more innovative and productive.

There are two levels of vouchers that businesses can apply for.

  • Tier 1 vouchers are worth a maximum of $15,000 and are provided to eligible small businesses who have not previously been awarded a voucher.
  • Tier 2 vouchers are worth a maximum of $25,000 and allow previous voucher recipients an opportunity to build on the work done through their initial Tier 1 voucher award. Only previous voucher recipients are eligible to apply for a Tier 2 award.

Vouchers are valid until March 31st of any given program year and are limited to one per applicant.

Program Objectives

The objective of the program is to support small businesses to become more productive and innovative while building stronger linkages between small businesses and Nova Scotian universities and colleges.

Eligibility

All businesses currently operating in Nova Scotia are eligible provided:

  • they are registered as a business to operate in Nova Scotia;
  • part, or all, of their workforce currently resides in Nova Scotia;
  • they have less than 100 employees at the time of their application;
  • the service they require is offered by at least one eligible service provider, which is a Nova Scotia university or college that offer services that small and medium sized enterprises need to help make their businesses more productive and innovative.

Eligible projects must clearly demonstrate the potential to contribute to the development of a new, high value-added product, service or process that will help a business become more innovative and productive.

Eligible service areas:

  • Applied research
  • Industrial/process engineering services
  • Scientific/technology related advice and support
  • Proof of concept, field testing, product evaluation and certification
  • Prototyping
  • Product design
  • Feasibility studies necessary to help move a new, innovative product or service to market
  • Eco-efficiency audits

How do I apply?

STEP 1: Review the list of eligible service providers and services. Select a provider and service which best fits your needs. It is recommended that all applicants contact an eligible service provider to discuss their proposed project prior to submitting an application.

STEP 2: Download and complete the program application form.

STEP 3: E-mail completed form to P+Ivouchers@gov.ns.ca.

Successful applicants will be notified by the Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism and will be issued a voucher in the name of their firm.

Voucher applications will be reviewed by Economic and Rural Development and Tourism staff, in consultation with program service providers, the following criteria will be used to evaluate the applications:

  • Alignment: The potential of the project to contribute to the development of a viable working relationship between the applicant and the service provider to stimulate productivity and innovation. For Tier 2 applications, the emphasis will be on the ability of the project to build upon progress initiated and supported by earlier voucher program funding;
  • Innovation: The potential of the project to contribute to the development of a new, high value-added product, service or process;
  • Productivity: The potential of the project to contribute to improved productivity;
  • Fit: The potential of the service provider to provide the proposed services identified within the application - the right fit between service provider and project proposal;
  • Incrementality - The potential of the voucher's impact to benefit the applicant's business productivity and innovation;
  • Other considerations, including service provider capacity and available program funding.

Successful applicants will be issued a voucher worth a maximum of $15,000 for Tier 1 and $25,000 for Tier 2. Both are valid until March 31, 2015. Vouchers are limited to one per applicant.

When can I apply?

Tier 1 applications will be accepted from September 15, 2014 to October 10, 2014
Tier 2 applications will be accepted from September 15, 2014 to October 17, 2014

Our Commitment to Service Excellence

As part of ERDT's Commitment to Service Excellence, the Productivity and Innovation Voucher Program strives to provide positive experiences each and every time our program is delivered.

We promise to:

  • Respond to inquiries within 2 business days.
  • Acknowledge applications within 2 business days.
  • Notify successful and unsuccessful applicants within 4 weeks of the competition closing date.

For more information:

Please contact us by e-mail at P+Ivouchers@gov.ns.ca, or by calling Bruce Findlay at 902-424-7530, Greg Landry 902-424-4446, or our toll-free number 1-855-324-4668.