Productivity and Innovation Voucher Program

Program Description

The 2014-2015 round of the Productivity and Innovation Voucher Program will be launched on September 15, 2014.

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.


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

A list of eligible service providers and services can be found here.

Project eligibility and service providers and services are the same for both Tier 1 and Tier 2. Please note: successful voucher recipient firms are only eligible for one Tier 1 and one Tier 2 voucher award.

How do I apply?

The Productivity and Innovation Voucher Program is a competitive process. Tier 1 applications are accepted over a three-week period, once a year. Tier 2 applications are accepted over a four-week period, once a year. This website will be updated with information about competition deadline dates as it becomes available.

To apply, download the application form for Tier 1 or Tier 2  and submit via email to

It is recommended that all applicants contact an eligible service provider to discuss their proposed project prior to submitting an application.

Applications are reviewed by the Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, in consultation with program service providers.

Applications are evaluated based on the potential of the project to contribute to:

  • the development of a new, high value-added product, service, or process
  • productivity and innovative gains for the company
  • the development of a viable working relationship between the firm and the service provider

Tier 2 applications are also evaluated on the perceived potential of the project to build on progress made through the initial voucher award.

Service Provider capacity and available program funding are also factors in the decision-making process.

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, or by calling Bruce Findlay at 902-424-7530, Greg Landry 902-424-4446 or our toll-free number 1-855-324-4668.