Is your business innovating?

Innovation is a novel idea that creates value.

For a business, this is a novel idea that is new to both the business and the wider market. This novel idea will lead to the development of a new or improved product, service, business model, or process which will create value in the business, producing new profits or business growth.


Innovation Assessment

Complete our Innovation Assessment to find out where your business sits on the Innovation Framework. Depending on your innovation activities, your business may receive an Innovation Recognition Level.

Once you have completed the assessment you can use the advice and guidance on this website to help your business progress through the Innovation Framework.

Economic Recovery Innovation Grant (ERIG)

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 up to £5,000 (taxable) grant support for the development, testing and introduction of an innovative project in a business.

Businesses that complete the Innovation Assessment and are recognised as Silver Level Innovators (since 01 April 2021) are eligible to apply for Invest NI’s Economic Recovery Innovation Grant (ERIG).

If you are submitting your Innovation Assessment as part of your Economic Recovery Innovation Grant (ERIG) application, please make sure you satisfy Invest NI’s eligibility criteria before you begin the assessment.


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 or equivalent
  • 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.

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.

Completing your assessment

All the questions in this assessment are mandatory unless indicated.

The assessment will take around 30 minutes to complete and it may take up to four weeks to receive the outcome of your assessment.

Complete the form using one innovation idea only, and make sure that your idea aligns with the definition of Innovation.

Make sure you explain the following in detail:

  • How your idea will/does add value to your business.
  • How your idea clearly differs from what other are offering.
  • How you will/did evaluate and test your idea.
  • If introducing new digital technology, how did this change/ improve your services/business model so as to add value to your business.

Download the Innovation Assessment (PDF)

Complete and save your Innovation Assessment and return it by email to, including your business name in the subject field.

Next steps

We will be in touch to confirm your innovation level or if required, to ask for further information.