Alberta launches Innovation Voucher Pilot Program

Alberta Advance Technology and Education launched their Innovation Voucher Pilot Program today and it looks like a much-needed help for today’s startups.

Innovation vouchers help small technology and knowledge-driven businesses in Alberta get their ideas and products to market faster. Companies can apply for vouchers worth up to $10,000 or $50,000 to use at Alberta’s public and not-for-profit service providers for business and technology development services.

During the program’s pilot, preference will be given to businesses in emerging growth sectors such as clean technology, health, bio-tech and ICT.

Innovation vouchers can be used as partial payment for services offered by approved service providers such as Calgary Technologies Inc. Vouchers are valid for nine months from the date they are awarded and are available in two denominations:

  • A voucher to a maximum value of $10,000 for smaller fee-based services such as marketing studies, business advice, or business formation.
  • A voucher to a maximum value of $50,000 for more substantial technology development activity such as product prototyping, lab verification, field testing, etc.

Businesses are eligible to receive one of each type of voucher through the program.

The innovation voucher program is open to businesses that are technology or knowledge-driven and are developing new products or services for growing markets. The business must be registered in Alberta or Canada, conduct more than 50 percent of its business in Alberta, have 50 or fewer staff and had a gross income that, in the preceding fiscal year, did not exceed $5 Million.

All applications must be submitted by February 13, 2009. Applicants will be notified of their status in early March 2009.