Economic Recovery Innovation Grant

Invest Northern Ireland (Invest NI) has launched the Economic Recovery Innovation Grant (ERIG) to support local businesses to develop innovative projects and to encourage businesses to progress along Innovate NI’s Innovation Framework.

ERIG aims to support businesses to recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic by helping them develop new or improve existing products, services or processes through innovation. It provides grant support for the development, testing and introduction of an innovative project in a business.

ERIG is managed and administered by Invest NI.

This support is part-funded by the Department for the Economy Economic Recovery Action Plan.

Deadline for applications

Applications close at 5pm on Monday 31 January 2022.

However, grants will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. If the available budget is fully allocated before this date, Invest NI reserves the right to close applications early.

Invest NI recommends that you apply as early as possible, as the application and assessment process may take eight working weeks to complete.

What is available?

Businesses can access up to a maximum grant of £5,000 to support eligible costs to progress their innovative project.

ERIG is designed to complement rather than duplicate other regional support programmes.

ERIG is open to any business that can demonstrate it meets all the eligibility criteria outlined in this guidance.

Eligibility

ERIG is open to all businesses that meet the following eligibility criteria.

Businesses must be:

  • Based in Northern Ireland.
  • Classified as a SME.
  • Pre-trading or actively trading.
  • Registered with HMRC.
  • Recognised as a Silver Level Innovator by Innovate NI
  • Able to confirm that the ERIG grant payment will not take them over the State Aid de minimis ceiling of €200,000 over the current and two previous fiscal years, or if applicable, the £315,000 Minimal Financial Assistance contribution.

There are some exclusions to ERIG.

A business is not eligible to apply if:

  • It has a current Invest NI Letter of Offer or has received financial support from Invest NI within the last 3 years, however, support via Invest NI Innovation Vouchers and COVID Recovery Schemes are excluded from this. For more detail on these exceptions see our Frequently Asked Questions.
  • It is currently a Bronze Level Innovator, or has received Gold or Platinum Level Innovator recognition in the past.
  • The project it is applying for has received financial assistance from another government or public sector source (with the exception of Invest NI Innovation Vouchers).
  • It is a primary agricultural producer i.e. those primarily concerned with crop or animal production or forestry or logging or fisheries or aquaculture are not eligible to apply for ERIG. However, agricultural businesses associated with the processing, marketing and retail of agricultural products are eligible to apply.
  • The grant received will result in the business exceeding its applicable State Aid de minimis or Minimal Financial Assistance (MFA) ceiling in the last three years are not eligible to apply for ERIG.

How to apply

ERIG is now open for applications and detailed guidance notes (PDF) are available.

Your first step is to check if you are eligible to apply for ERIG.

Check if you are eligible to apply for ERIG

You will need the following information to complete the ERIG application form:

  • Your business information
  • An overview of the proposed innovation project
  • Evidence of Silver Level Innovator recognition for the proposed project from Innovate NI
  • Project details including costs, relevant tasks, timeframes and proposed outcomes

You will need to provide electronically:

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of business legitimacy
  • Proof of address
  • Bank details
  • Silver Level Innovator recognition

The maximum file size of each attached document is 3MB.

Timescales

ERIG is now open for applications. Projects will be appraised on a first-come first served basis. Invest NI reserves the right to close the grant to applications:

  • When the available budget is fully allocated, or
  • On 31 January 2022 at 5pm, whichever comes first.

More information

Download the Economic Recovery Innovation Grant guidance notes (PDF)
Download the Economic Recovery Innovation Grant FAQs (PDF)

If you have any enquiries about the Economic Recovery Innovation Grant, complete this enquiry form.

You can also call Invest NI’s Business Support Team on 0800 181 4422. Lines are open Monday to Friday 9.00am to 4.30pm.