Inclusive Innovation Policy Cases by Country

Prototypes of Social Innovation programme – Chile


Objective: Develop proofs of concept and prototypes of innovative solutions to meet social/regional challenges through open innovation.

Target: Regions and communities facing specific social challenges.

Instrument: Grants to develop proofs of concept and prototypes of new solutions to meet major regional challenges.

Innovation Fund for SMEs – China


Objective: Enhance the S&T and innovation capabilities of SMEs.

Target: SMEs nation-wide.

Instrument: Financial support (grants, loan interest subsidies for new product development and pilot production, and equity investments); and advisory services.


National Action Plan for Scientific Literacy – China


Objective: To increase general scientific literacy in the country, with the objective of providing every adult citizen with basic scientific literacy by 2050.

Target: All citizens, with the focus on disadvantaged populations from underdeveloped regions.

Instrument: Investment in compulsory public education, in education infrastructure and in the organisation of popular science activities.

Envoy System – China


Objective: Allow for more innovation among rural populations by dispatching S&T specialists to the countryside and promoting innovative entrepreneurship in the rural areas.

Target: Farmers in rural areas.

Instrument: Qualified S&T specialists provide farmers with S&T services, including demonstrations of new technologies, training and personalised consulting.

Spark Programme – China


Objective: Enhance the innovation performance of the rural economy through science and technology and popularise science and technology in rural areas.

Target: Rural areas.

Instrument: Technology and management training and support to projects that use S&T and know-how from research institutes to solve local technology programmes.

Ideas for Change – Colombia


Objective: Find solutions to challenges faced by poor and vulnerable communities, particularly in the environment and energy fields.

Target: Poor and vulnerable local communities with unmet needs, particularly relating to the environment and energy fields.

Instrument: Grants provided to firms, universities and research institutions that can solve identified local challenges in the environment and energy fields.

Royalties for Science, Technology and Innovation programme – Colombia


Objective: Increasing the scientific, technological, innovation and competitiveness capacities of regions.

Target: Regions with weak innovation performance.

Instrument: Fund to support regional STI activities that contribute to the production, use and absorption of knowledge by industry and society.

Initiative for start-ups and business transfer – Germany (Federal State of Baden-Württemberg)


Objective: Foster immigrants’ entrepreneurship and their business success.

Target: Immigrant population (actual and potential entrepreneurs).

Instrument: Public awareness campaigns, including through information web pages and seminars; financial support for training and counselling initiatives for immigrant entrepreneurs provided by business chambers and other organisations.

Kiút programme – Hungary


Objective: Enable poor people to establish their own business, with the objective of integrating them in local production systems.

Target: People around or below official poverty line, with a specific focus on the Roma minority, people living in lagging regions and women.

Instrument: Micro-loans and non-financial support (e.g. administrative help, training on financial and business issues).

Innovation vouchers programme – Hungary


Objective: Support SMEs innovation performance by helping them to connect with universities and research institutions to support their innovation projects.

Target: Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) seeking to develop an innovative product, service or process.

Instrument: Non-repayable grants to finance innovation consultancy or innovation support services provided by universities and public research institutes.

Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development – India

Initially launched in 1985 and reformulated in 1996-97–present

Objective: The programme aims to promote the development of lagging areas by supporting micro-enterprises.

Target: Micro-entrepreneurs in lagging regions.

Instrument: Financial support is provided to selected implementing agencies for 4 years.

Competitive Feasibility Fund for Female Entrepreneurs Programme – Ireland


Objective: Fostering female-led business creation.

Target: Women entrepreneurs and women-led start ups.

Instrument: Grant for funding feasibility studies, covering up to 50% of expenditures for a maximum of EUR 25,000 (Feasibility Fund); Equity investment of up to EUR 50,000 for a 10% shareholding in costs for a business plan and achieving key technical and commercial milestones, and non-financial support (Start Fund).

Innovation vouchers programme for the design sector – Ireland


Objective: Assist SMEs in gaining the knowledge needed to explore a targeted business opportunity, sourced from higher education institutes and public research bodies.

Target: SMEs in the design sector.

Instrument: Innovation voucher for SMEs to explore a business opportunity or solve a problem with the assistance of a registered public knowledge provider.

Competitive Start Fund for the design sector – Ireland


Objective: Provide young companies in the design sector with critical early-stage funding to help them reach key commercial and technical milestones and launch new products and services in the international marketplace.

Target: SMEs in the design sector.

Instrument: Equity investment of up to EUR 50 000 for a 10% shareholding in the company.

Support programmes for companies from the ultra-Orthodox community and from minority communities– Israel



Objective: Encourage and support entrepreneurship by the ultra-Orthodox community and the Arab minorities.

Target: Minority groups (ultra-Orthodox entrepreneurs and Arab entrepreneurs – including Druze, Bedouin and Circassians).

Instrument: Grants covering 85% of the approved budget, up to NIS 2 million (EUR 478 000), notably for start-ups’ product development.

Encouraging R&D in Traditional Industries – Israel


Objective: Encourage large companies to establish R&D centres in lagging regions in order to narrow the gap with Central Israel.

Target: Large leading R&D-investing companies.

Instrument: Grants supporting R&D expenses of R&D centres created in peripheral regions for 24-36 months.

Large companies’ R&D Centres in Israel’s Periphery programme – Israel


Objective: Encourage large companies to establish R&D centres in lagging regions in order to narrow the gap with Central Israel.

Target: Large leading R&D-investing companies.

Instrument: Grant covering 65-75% of the R&D expenses of R&D centres created in peripheral regions for 24 36 months. Larger companies are required to repay the grants at a rate of 3% of the grant value per year on successful projects (1.5% for smaller firms).

Programme to support the research activities of female researchers – Japan


Objective: Increase the number of women in leading positions in research, particularly in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Target: Women researchers.

Instrument: Funds to research organisations to develop and implement measures aimed at improving the research environment for women researchers, and awareness raising activities in high schools and colleges, aimed at encouraging women to take up careers in STEM disciplines.

Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology – Korea


Objective: Foster women’s participation in science, engineering and technology research and industry.

Target: Women at different stages in their careers in STEM fields.

Instrument: Grants to support engineering research projects led by female graduate students; support for female researchers returning to R&D activities after a career break (e.g. due to maternity); and mentoring programmes for young women in high school.

Centers for Creative Economy and Innovation – Korea


Objective: Promote business start-ups and innovation by small and medium-sized companies, and build conditions for innovation in different cities and provinces across the country.

Target: Small and medium-sized enterprises, and potential start-ups.

Instrument: Business consultation services for start-ups; creation of networks including SMEs and innovation actors; assistance in (among others) R&D and marketing.

Commission for Corporate Partnership – Korea


Objective: Improve the relationship between large enterprises and SMEs, reduce social polarisation, and strengthen national competitiveness.

Target: SMEs and large enterprises.

Instrument: Identification and dissemination of successful win-win growth models, and of best practices for corporate partnership. Identification of types of activities that are suitable for SMEs.

Technoparks – Korea


Objective: Provide infrastructures and managerial and technical support to firms located in peripheral regions to reduce the gap between the Seoul area and others.

Target: Peripheral regions.

Instrument: Development of technology parks (eighteen are currently in operation). 

European Progress Microfinance Facility Programme – Lithuania


Objective:  Develop human capital and improve research capacities of designated researchers.

Target: Researchers from disadvantaged groups, including specifically women and black people.

Instrument: Grants for research projects proposed by this group.

Productive Territories Programme – Mexico

Pilot phase

Objective: Reduce poverty and increase productivity of rural households in Mexico.

Target: Poor rural households (to be eligible, households need to be beneficiaries of the social programme Prospera and live in rural municipalities).

Instrument: A technical team develops a tailored development plan for each location, taking into account existing assets and local needs.

Special Economic Zones – Mexico


Objective: Foster economic development in three lagging regions in the south of Mexico, so as to address the gap between north and south.

Target: Peripheral regions (three lagging regions in southern Mexico).

Instrument: Establishment of three special economic zones in which firms investing and creating jobs would obtain several benefits.

Maori Innovation Fund (Te Pūnaha Hiringa) – New Zealand


Objective: Develop human capital and improve the research capacities of researchers from underrepresented groups.

Target: Researchers from disadvantaged groups, particularly women and black people.

Instrument: Grants for research projects proposed by researchers from disadvantaged groups.

Thuthuka programme – South Africa


Objective:  Develop human capital and improve research capacities of designated researchers.

Target: Researchers from disadvantaged groups, including specifically women and black people.

Instrument: Grants for research projects proposed by this group.

Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research – United States


Objective: Assist jurisdictions that have historically received little federal R&D funding in developing and strengthening their research capabilities.

Target: Jurisdictions.

Instrument: Federal awards co-financed by individual jurisdictions (states or territories).

H2020 SME Innovation Associate – European Union


Objective: Support SMEs in recruiting highly skilled researchers from other countries in order to turn their innovative idea into a viable project.

Target: SMEs and start-ups with innovative ideas.

Instrument: Grant to cover costs of employing a researcher for up to one year (including salary, travel expenses and others); training package to maximise research outcomes and impact for both the SME and the researcher.

EuroAgri Foodchain – Eureka Countries


Objective: Increase the competitiveness and innovativeness of the European agri-food industry by supporting R&D projects.

Target: SMEs, large companies, research institutions and universities in the agri-food sectors that intend to introduce an innovation.

Instrument: Support varies depending on the case; it can include the provision of grants as well as advisory services, and promotion of products and technologies across countries.