Regional authorities will implement the scheme. At the moment, only SMEs in the Spanish regions of Extremadura and Region of Murcia can benefit from the scheme, which is in a pilot phase, during which the regions can receive assistance in the form of guidance and training. SMEs in these regions will be the first in Europe to benefit from this opportunity which is due to roll out across Europe in 2014.
ICT Innovation voucher schemes will be funded through the EU structural and investment funds (ESI). They allow regional authorities to help SMEs access know-how and technology and give incentives to knowledge/service providers to work with SMEs and increase their markets. The scheme itself is designed to be easy for SMEs and providers to implement, supported by light administrative procedures.
SMEs can exchange these vouchers for ICT services from private companies, universities, research centres and other accredited knowledge/service providers. The vouchers will give the companies easy access to specialist services such as help in creating a business website and using it profitably, learning to use e-commerce tools to buy or sell, or adopting more sophisticated ICT tools for internal processes, such as better resource planning, supply chain management, customer relations management.