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Ricardo Entrepreneur Assistance Scheme


All prices are inclusive of VAT where applicable.

The Ricardo Entrepreneur Assistance Scheme aims to help entrepreneurs utilise their Innovation Voucher, or other types of funding, to gain cost-effective access to Ricardo expertise.

(Image note: by considering both technical and route-to-market risks, we were able to help Libertine – a technology start-up – identify and mitigate critical risks to the commercialisation of its technology)

Ricardo Entrepreneur Assistance Scheme (REAS) – to Develop Innovative Ideas or Products


Entrepreneurs developing your innovative ideas or products can sometimes struggle to fund the early steps of taking their idea forward. The UK Government recognises this and has initiated the Innovate UK Innovation Vouchers scheme. This offers £5,000 + VAT seed funding to pay for an external expert to help grow the idea. The funding can be used to develop or improve an innovative idea, help with how to apply the idea or how to manage and use intellectual property. Ricardo has over 100 years of pragmatic and focused experience developing and applying new technologies in a wide range of areas including: transmissions, vehicles, electric powertrain and energy storage systems, control systems, fuel cell systems, advanced design, analysis, modelling and simulation tools and many aspects of alternative energy systems and fuels. We also offer strategic advice in identifying new markets, identifying technologies to implement in these markets and developing an Intellectual Property strategy. Please see our for more information. We therefore wish to support entrepreneurs by offering our services to those interested in the Innovation Voucher scheme.

Ricardo Entrepreneur Assistance Scheme (REAS)

We are now offering a discounted package of support for £5000 + VAT to access Ricardo experts to help you develop technology, de-risk critical decisions and make the most of your funding from Innovate UK. This REAS package is administered by the Ricardo Advanced Technology Department and will be tailored to your needs. It will typically include:

  • A bespoke information pack, including useful background information on the technology development processes, funding sources, specific information we have access to that may be of use to you, and a brief overview of key risks or focus areas, as recommended by Ricardo, covering both technology and markets
  • A half day workshop with experts selected to address your issues on a technical or commercial topic, where you can ask any questions on the day, and we will also suggest challenge areas
  • One week access to our on-line Ricardo Information Services Portal, one of the largest automotive libraries in the world
  • A concise Ricardo PowerPoint report covering the workshop materials and notes of the discussions held
  • Prioritised recommendations for further work.

You will also have the opportunity to explore our state-of-the-art facilities, including our McLaren supercar engine assembly area. The deliverables you will receive will help you to develop:

  • Sharper, focused and more accurately scoped future activities
  • A credible business plan
  • Future fund raising capability

Note: Ricardo will focus support on ideas which we believe have the potential to be successful.

Innovate UK Voucher Scheme Qualifications

To qualify for the Innovate UK Innovation vouchers scheme:

  • You need to be a start-up, micro or small or medium-sized business located in the UK
  • It should be the first time that you have worked with your selected knowledge supplier
  • The idea that you want help with should be a challenge for your business that requires specialist help
  • You should not have received an Innovation Voucher from Innovate UK before.

Check the Innovate UK website for up to date details. The scheme is assessed every three months.

REAS Qualifications and Offer

To qualify for Ricardo’s REAS offer, we apply the same constraints as the Innovations Voucher, plus:

  • We have the right to publish that we have worked with you under this scheme (project details and findings will remain confidential)
  • You accept Ricardo’s Standard Terms and Conditions (available on request)
  • You accept that any questions or effort requested beyond the package offered will require additional funding.

If you are not successful in your Innovation Vouchers bid (it is a lottery system) but were eligible, at our discretion, we may still be able to provide you the discounted Ricardo package for £5000 + VAT, providing you are able to fund by other means.

Next Steps

Once you have decided to apply for an Innovation Voucher and believe the REAS can help, please contact us for a friendly chat regarding your request. If appropriate, we may suggest the signing of a Non-Disclosure Agreement to protect both your idea and Ricardo. We can then discuss your idea and how we can help you. If we decide you meet our criteria, we will provide you with a formal proposal outlining our offer. In parallel with this, you should apply for your Innovation Voucher independently. You can then decide if you wish to take up our offer. We hope you will enjoy working with Ricardo via this offer and appreciate the depth and breadth of our capabilities. We then hope we can work together again in the future to help take your venture further via additional work. If the REAS is not what you need from Ricardo, please take a look at our Ricardo Knowledge offering here which can provide highly flexible access to Ricardo from a single question to a complete work package.

Ricardo has subject matter experts with deep knowledge and experience in a broad range of technical and commercial topics: Topics                      

Using the Innovation Voucher gives access to a range of Technical Specialists. Some examples of our internationally-recognised experts are below – RJO RCEC PJCa
Workshops will be delivered at a Ricardo UK site (Shoreham-by-Sea, Leamington Spa, Cambridge) and facilitated by an experienced engineer – An interactive format will be used to support knowledge transfer. Internal Combustion Engine Training Location

Workshop Outline

The timings for the workshop can be tailored to suit client requirements, a suggested agenda is given below: – 11:00   Arrival, Ricardo site tour – 12:00   Lunch – 12:30   Presentation 1 – Ricardo technical specialist – 13:30  Q&A – 14:00  Refreshment break – 14:15   Presentation 2 – Ricardo technical specialist – 15:15  Q&A – 16:00  Close Presentation material and key discussion points will be delivered to the client following the workshop

View our Research & Development video

Please contact us to arrange a visit to the Shoreham Technical Centre, where we can show you some of our facilities, including the McLaren engine assembly facility.

Contact details –  Dr Penny Atkins Leader of Technology Strategy, Advanced Technology Development, Direct Dial: +44 (0)1273 794139