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Highlands and Islands Enterprise innovation service

Support provided by Highlands and Islands Enterprise

What does this involve?

Highlands and Islands Enterprise's innovation service can help your business get new ideas off the ground and implement the changes you need to make it thrive. The service will give you access to learning journeys, webinars and masterclasses, the new product development programme, and research, development and innovation (RDI) funding.

You can also get advice and support from innovation advisers on:

  • research and development
  • developing new products and services
  • improving productivity
  • identifying new opportunities for your business to explore
  • developing a strategy for future innovation
  • protecting your intellectual assets
  • funding

Highlands and Islands Enterprise can also help part-fund your innovation project. Levels of funding are dependent on your specific project requirements, with grants of between £25,000 and £100,000 available. However, you must be able to demonstrate that you can match fund your project. Any funding provided is discretionary.

Companies that are actively seeking to grow by implementing new ideas should approach HIE to make sure the first step is in the right direction. Innovation doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t have to involve an invention, and it doesn’t have to be big. It means different things to different businesses. At its core, it’s making changes that will improve your business. This could be:

  • a process change to improve your productivity
  • adapting your business model to open up new ways of reaching customers
  • reducing waste and inefficiency to operate more sustainably
  • opening up a whole new market through developing new products and services

Highlands and Islands Enterprise has already supported a wide range of businesses across the Highlands and Islands through the innovation support service. For example, they have:

  • helped a business to reduce its carbon footprint and operate more sustainably
  • supported a business to make packaging improvements to increase shelf life, so that a product could be shipped further
  • helped a business increase the level of automation in its manufacturing process

Am I eligible?

To qualify for support from the innovation team, your business must be:

  • a registered company with a business plan and ambitions to grow
  • based in the Highlands and Islands region
  • able to match fund the proposed project

If your business has yet to be formed, or you need advice on preparing a business plan, please get in touch with Business Gateway.

What does this cost?

The costs will vary depending on the support you receive.

There is no cost for advice from a Highlands and Islands Enterprise innovation advisor or another specialist.

This programme includes a number of events, webinars, masterclasses and learning journeys. The majority of these are free, but in some cases there may be a small fee to attend.

The Highlands and Islands Enterprise RDI grant provides between £25,000 and £100,000. Intervention levels will range from 25% to 70% of your project costs. The amount of the grant will depend on the size of the project, the business, sector and the type of research and development being carried out. 

Any grant award must be matched by the business’s own funds. You should make sure you have your own funds in place before you apply to Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Who is this for?

Registered companies based in the Highlands and Islands region with ambitions to grow.

How long does this take?

The support does not need to be completed within a set time. The actual time commitment required will vary depending on the complexity of your project.

Next steps

Visit the innovation section of the Highlands and Islands Enterprise website for more information and to submit an enquiry.

Support provided by Highlands and Islands Enterprise