What is a Metro research voucher?
It is a framework for discounted organisational advice to Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) on business development, general problem solving, research and development (R&D) and communications, which are offered by one or more of the Metro Group members.
What can the vouchers be used for?
The Metro Group members offer a wide range of education programmes taught by people experienced in these fields. Any of these areas of expertise might be helpful to your business or organisation could range from market research, information and communications technology (ICT) and cyber security support, communications media, graphic and web design, product development, intellectual property (IP) and commercialisation advice, business advice and development, sustainability processes, building and transport technologies.
Support in the form of a demand-led research project around a well defined question or problem, such as:
• Design or modification of design
• Experimental Testing / Measuring
• Efficiency audit, process change
• New product / process development
• New or improved production process
• New service development
• New/review of service delivery and customer interface
• Preliminary research / Literature research
• New business model development
• Innovation or Technology audit
• Supply chain management and logistics
• Development of workplace Information Communication Technology
The business will describe the “added value” that the solution to the knowledge question will bring e.g.
• Create new product or system
• Take a new good or service to market
• Improve a product quality
• Reduce a company cost
• Enhance ability to carry out innovative projects
• Create stronger links with researchers
• Productivity gains
How does the Metro voucher scheme work?
The voucher gives you a discount off the price for the services you need us to provide you with.
What sort of discount do I get?
The level of funding is variable, dependent on the nature of the applicant and the potential impact the proposed research may have on the applicant. The scheme is focussed on SMEs and Not for Profit groups; applicants fitting into these categories are likely to be offered a greater subsidy whereas applicants outside of these categories may be offered little or no subsidy. Commercial ventures may receive a subsidy of up to 50% to a maximum of $5,000, Not for Profit groups may receive a subsidy of up to 100% to a maximum of $5,000.
What are the vouchers worth?
They range in value from $500 – $5000.
Who can apply?
The research voucher scheme is available for all Small to Medium Enterprises, including private, public and not-for-profit sectors, with up to 50 staff.
How do I apply?
You download the form here. More information about the application process is available here. If you need help in developing the proposal, contact a Metro Group member of your choice. Whether or not you have made prior contact, submitting the application form will trigger a dialogue with your selected Metro Group partner. The details will be worked out from there.
Who owns the intellectual property?
The definition of what is Intellectual Property (IP) will be unique for each application. In general the following principles will apply however the Metro Group will negotiate sharing of IP rights, to propose specific IP arrangements for specified projects.
The client/voucher holder, in most cases, will be the intellectual property owner of the research outputs, with the exception of publishing rights (noted below). Therefore the client will have the right to use/apply the information in the course of their normal activities.
The relevant Metro Group member/s will retain the rights to publish the research results, and may make these results available for purchase by interested parties. In the event that the client wishes the Metro Group to not publish the research outputs (e.g. for protection of competitive advantage), both parties may negotiate a variation on this arrangement.
Who are the members of the Metro Group?
View the members here.
Why would the Metro Group offer discounted support and services to SMEs?
Because it fulfils the government mandate that Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics work closely with industry to … “achieve greater transfer of knowledge, ideas and expertise to industry and wider society. We want to increase the tertiary education system’s impact on innovation occurring across the country, and hence lift economic growth” (Tertiary Education Strategy 2014-2019, pg 16). It also provides opportunity for staff to partner with industry and social enterprise to stay current in their teaching and research. It helps build networks between employers and graduates who need jobs.
innovate ITP reserves the right to change voucher policy in future funding rounds.