This might be of interest to readers. Innovate UK have finally got rid of the ridiculous themes to be eligible for an Innovation Voucher. Now, as long as you are a business with an idea, you can apply for an IV for £5K. The caveats are:
1. You can only work with a supplier you have not used before (which is bonkers but they are worried about fraud)
2. This excludes VAT, so if you are not VAT registered, you have to pick up the £1000 VAT (£5K plus 20% VAT)
3. you have to pay the supplier in full before claiming back the value of your Innovation Voucher
You can find out more at https://vouchers.innovateuk.org/
It is a lottery, but if you fail with your first application, just keep reapplying!
A bit of advice? Avoid Universities as you will get very little for £5K from them (and they will take an age before they doing anything useful to boot!)