Innovation voucher schemes can be considered as the delivery of innovation support services by third parties to innovators through grants with reduced administrative burden for recipients and providers of the service.
Innovation voucher schemes should allow innovators or users to receive diverse services according to their needs, building upon the professional expertise from different regions in different CIP participating countries. This contributes to better European-wide access to all forms of knowledge and to support the creation of a European space for innovation support.
Innovation voucher schemes have been established in many European countries and regions to support innovation activities of SME’s. Experiences are very encouraging and confirm that innovation vouchers may indeed induce more innovation activities by SMEs and strengthen their ties with research and other knowledge providers. They have the potential to offer flexible and non-bureaucratic innovation support “on demand”, provided by the best available innovation experts and at the moment when it is needed. Such schemes should be implemented in all Member States as widely as possible in order to support the objectives of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth of the Europe 2020 strategy more effectively.
To fully unlock the transformative potential of innovative services based on Copernicus (formerly known as GMES) and GNSS, voucher schemes may play an important role. Such voucher schemes could help raise the demand for Copernicus and GNSS based services and thus contribute to better exploiting the investments made in the two systems. Furthermore, they could stimulate entrepreneurship in this new technological field and contribute to the emergence of new industries driven by service innovation based on Copernicus and GNSS. Such innovative mobile services could also be used to better address a number of societal challenges identified in the Europe 2020 strategy and support the EU Innovation Partnerships such as the ones on raw materials, sustainable agriculture and smart cities.
Concrete actions to develop and test new voucher schemes aimed at promoting the further use of Copernicus and GNSS based services in mobile services industries.