On May 18, 2020, the Latvian Investment and Development Agency (LIAA) opened an application process for their new support measure “Design Voucher”. Support will be provided to companies that develop a new product or technology and need the services of a designer to develop a new product, process or strategy for innovation in the company. A total budget of the scheme is €250,000; with €5,000 maximum per project. Support for entrepreneurs is provided within the framework of the ERDF project “Technology Transfer Program”.
Introduction of such support scheme is the main ambition of LIAA's Action Plan as a result of Design4Innovation project. The action was inspired by lessons from our knowledge exchange process, especially by the Flemish SME Wallet scheme.
LIAA director Kaspars Rožkalns emphasizes that this type of support can be combined with other LIAA support programs. "Within the framework of the Innovation Voucher Program, a new product can be developed in cooperation with research organizations, but with the support of design vouchers, a new product can be designed. Within the framework of innovation vouchers, support is also available for the development of technical and economic feasibility studies for a new product or technology, industrial research, experimental development, testing and certification, and strengthening of industrial property rights, as well as support for attracting highly qualified workers. Many companies use the Covid situation to work on developing new products or adapting existing products to new situations and new markets. This is a good opportunity to make your product more visible and increase its competitiveness ”K. Rožkalns points out.
LIAA has organised on online webinar for all entrepreneurs interested in applying. More information available on LIAA's website.