The Innovation Voucher Program is set up to assist in finding funding for high potential start-ups, small businesses, and entrepreneurs in the state of Indiana when developing products and services and conducting research.

This program provides small businesses with up to $50,000 to cover the cost of services from eligible research providers. These services can help with product development, simulations, studies, and more—all with the goal of helping your business develop innovative new products or services.


What is an Innovation Voucher Grant (IVG)?

An innovation voucher is an Indiana Economic Development Corporation program designed to support and encourage small business conducting research with Indiana universities or non-profit research centers. These partners will provide “Research services” to the small business which means research and development, technology exploration, technical development, product development, and commercialization intended to foster innovation in an eligible small business. Conducting research is expensive and small businesses may not have the capital to fund these services on their own or be far enough along in their projects to be able to propose the product to investors. These critical resources or capabilities are expensive and can be difficult to create a proof of concept, a prototype, or access to researchers who have the capabilities to finalize the needed research to further establish their company. 


Frequently Asked Questions


Are applications accepted year-round?

Yes, the application is always open! However, your applications are evaluated three times a year. This year’s application deadlines are January 20, May 17, and September 22.

Can I apply for an Innovation Voucher on a current project? 

No, we are so excited that you already have a research project underway, but an Innovation Voucher goal is to fund projects that have not begun yet. Additionally, no work should be completed until a fully executed agreement has been signed.

How long should my period of performance by on my project?

This is flexible but the IEDC recommends projects that are approximately 6 months to 1 year.

Is there a limit on the number of projects submitted?

Yes, the maximum lifetime Innovation Voucher Grant award amount per company, including affiliates, shall not exceed $100,000.

What qualifies as an approved Research Organization? 

There are two segments that could qualify. 1) an Indiana higher education institution willing to waive all overhead charges related to the Voucher Program participation, and 2) other Indiana-based nonprofit research organization that can provide research services, as approved, on the per project basis. We have had companies work with Purdue University, Rose Hulman Ventures, Trine University, Indiana University, NotreDame, BIC, EMC2, 5G Lab, SportsTechHQ, and IBRI. This list is not all inclusive list, but a good place to start!.

Can a proposal be submitted without an identified research partner?

No, when you submit your application it is critical to have the scope of work defined ahead of time with your research partner to ensure the success of the project if it gets approved. We encourage the small businesses to connect with their research entities to find what faculty member could be the most beneficial for the project, but ARI is always here to help make connections where we have them!

What would count as "match" and what would not?

This match is flexible, it could be cash paid by the startup, in-kind services or equity for services qualify. This cash match can be sourced from private or publicly funded investment programs like SBIR/STTR funding or other grants your company may have been awarded. Please note this does not include other IEDC awards you may have received.