12 November, 2021 in Industry News

Economic Recovery Innovation Grant (ERIG)

We provide a summary of the newly launched Economic Recovery Innovation Grant from Invest Northern Ireland.

Invest Northern Ireland has launched 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 pandemic through grant support which will help them to develop new or improve existing products, services or processes through innovation.

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


Your business must meet all of the following eligibility needs:

  • Based in Northern Ireland
  • Classified as an SME
  • Pre-trading or actively trading
  • Registered with HMRC
  • Recognised as a Silver Level Innovator by Innovate NI (details below)
  • 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.

What is a Silver Level Innovator Recognition?

There are four Innovation Recognition Levels issued by Innovate NI based on the applicant’s progress against the Innovation Framework. Only applicants assessed as Silver Level Innovators are eligible to apply for ERIG. Any business which has obtained Silver Level Innovator recognition since 01 April 2021 is not required to repeat the Innovation Assessment. However, if your business has received a Silver Level Innovator recognition from Innovate NI prior to 01 April 2021, you are required to re-submit your Innovation Assessment before beginning the ERIG application process to ensure your innovation recognition level is accurate.

A Silver Level award means you have selected an idea to commercialise or implement and are testing, validating and developing it.

Eligible Activities

Eligible projects can use ERIG to contribute toward the costs associated with developing the innovative project.

Costs may include:

  • Testing and developing new products or processes
  • Equipment
  • Skills Development
  • Marketing
  • Consultancy

Some examples of activities that may be used against each cost category include:

  • Skills development: Costs associated with training and/or courses that staff may need to attend associated with the implementation of new processes or products.
  • Marketing: Costs such as marketing materials and campaigns and/or export market costs associated with sales visits to external markets.
  • Consultancy: Costs associated with defining the market opportunity, financial feasibility, technical feasibility or completing a scientific literature review.
  • Equipment: Costs for equipment used during project development, i.e. small IT equipment or machinery required for the project.
  • Trials and testing: Costs associated with prototyping, registration of patent applications and information searching.

Application Process

The ERIG process is a 3-step process:

Step 1 – Complete the Eligibility Checker

Step 2 – Apply to Innovate NI for your Innovation Recognition Level
If your business meets Invest NI’s main eligibility requirements but is not in possession of Silver Level Innovator recognition (dated 01 April 2021 or later), you will need to complete and submit an Innovation Assessment to Innovate NI, which will take around 30 minutes to complete.

Businesses assessed as Silver Level Innovators will receive an email notification from Innovate NI which will include a personalised Silver Level Innovator certificate, confirmation that they may be eligible for ERIG support and links to the application form on the MyINI.investni.com Customer Portal.

Step 3 – Apply for ERIG

All eligible Silver Innovators will receive an email from Innovate NI which will provide access to an online application form.

What Do I Need to Apply?

To complete your ERIG application you will need to provide the following:

  • Your business details including business type, trading and SME status, the number of employees, sales turnover, industry sector etc
  • An overview of the proposed innovation project which has received Silver Level Innovator recognition.
  • Project details including costs, relevant tasks, timeframes and proposed outcomes
  • Information on state aid
  • Electronic documentation providing proof of identity, proof of business legitimacy, proof of address, bank details and proof of Silver Level Innovator Status

The closing date for applications is 5pm on Monday 31st January 2022.

For further information, click here.

Whilst every effort has been made by CavanaghKelly to ensure the accuracy of the information here, it cannot be guaranteed and neither CavanaghKelly nor any related entity shall have liability to any person who relies on the information herein. Information given here is for guidance only. Detailed professional advice should be taken before acting on any information contained herein. If having read the guidance here, you would like to discuss further; a member of our team would be pleased to help you.