The innovation cheque is designed to provide start-up support, enabling SMEs to use the know-how of research institutions and providing access to state-of-the-art science. With the cheque, SMEs can contact research institutions such as universities of applied science, regular universities or independent research institutions to make use of their research and development services and facilities. This means SMEs can draw upon the input of the best scientific experts in Liechtenstein or around the world for their ideas and projects. Each innovation cheque is worth CHF 10,000.00.

Who and what is supported

Small and medium-sized enterprises from Liechtenstein with up to 250 employees, annual sales of up to EUR 50 million, total assets of up to EUR 43 million and a maximum stake of 25 percent held by a major corporation are entitled to apply for an innovation cheque. Insofar as a close relationship exists between the SME and the research institution, no innovation cheque may be applied for.

Support is available for the following:

- Technical plausibility assessment (measurement series, materials analyses, functional tests etc.)
- Support for prototype development
- Analysis of the technology transfer potential
- Analysis of the technical innovation potential (processes, products, services, technologies)

Applying for an innovation cheque

Applications for innovation cheques may be submitted to the Office of Economic Affairs (German only). Once the formal criteria have been verified, applicants will be notified accordingly. Companies may select a particular research institution, or may be introduced to a suitable partner. Interested parties should contact the Office of Economic Affairs, Frank A. Heeb (+423 236 67 45frank.heeb(at)

Specific conditions

- An innovation cheque can be drawn only once for a company
- The innovation cheque is valid for 12 months
- The financial assistance flows exclusively to the research institutions
- Support is available for all effectively incurred costs (salaries, material costs, travel expenses)

In addition to the innovation cheque, a further support instrument for SMEs exists in the form of the export cheque.