The first phase of the voucher scheme, which started in Febraury 2009 , offered universities grants of up to £5,000 to meet the costs of new ventures with small to medium enterprises (SMEs), allowing 17 universities and 30 businesses to collaborate on a variety of projects.
Now, the second round of funding has been increased and extended to include colleges. Consequently, each of Scotland’s 20 universities can apply for up to £15,000, and up to £3,500 is available to each of the 43 colleges.
They can use the funds to offset costs for a broad range of activities to support SMEs in the development of new products and processes, new services, improving production processes, and experimental testing and measuring.
Projects receiving funding in the first phase cover different areas such as energy and sustainability, culture and tourism, construction and engineering, digital media, textiles, and manufacturing.