Productivity and Innovation Voucher Program

What is a "productivity and innovation voucher"?

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


The application process for the 2013-2014 Productivity and Innovation Voucher Program is now closed.

Who is eligible?

All businesses currently operating in Nova Scotia provided:
  • they are registered as a business to operate in Nova Scotia;
  • part, or all, of the 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.

There are two levels of vouchers that businesses can apply for. In addition to the traditional Tier 1 voucher, a second tier voucher was added as a full part of the program following a pilot program in 2011-2012. The second level (Tier 2) voucher allows 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. Project eligibility and available program service providers and services are consistent for both Tier 1 and Tier 2 of the program.

Please note that successful voucher recipient firms are only eligible for one Tier 1 and one Tier 2 voucher award.


What types of projects are 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 access a voucher?

STEP 1: Review the list of eligible service providers and services. Select a provider and service which best fits your needs.

STEP 2: Download and fill in 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:

  • Proposals determined to have the most potential to contribute to the development of a new, high value-added product, service or process;
  • The fit of the proposal with the objectives of the program:
    • The potential of the project to contribute to productivity and/or innovative gains for the firm.
    • The potential of the project to contribute to the development of a viable working linkage between the firm and the university/college program service provider.
    • In the case of a Tier 2 application, the perceived potential of the project to build on progress made through the initial voucher award is also important.
  • 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, 2014. Vouchers are limited to one per applicant.


When can I apply?

Tier 1 applications will be accepted from September 16, 2013 to October 7, 2013
Tier 2 applications will be accepted from September 16, 2013 to October 14, 2013

Want additional information?

For additional information on applying for a voucher through this program, 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 Naomi Arron 902-424-4501 or by calling 1-855-324-4668.