Our priorities

Developing growth sectors, particularly distinctive regional opportunities

The region’s natural assets, ambition, skills base and cultural background provide a range of opportunities to develop a vibrant sectoral economy. In each sector, the Highlands and Islands has a distinctive and dynamic contribution with significant potential to foster growth.

Seven sectors of the economy have been identified by the Scottish Government as offering particular growth potential. These are the areas where Scotland has a comparative advantage and where targeted support from the public sector could make a material difference to the rate of growth and corresponding increase in shared prosperity across the country. The seven sectors are:

  • Energy
  • Life sciences
  • Food and drink
  • Creative industries
  • Tourism
  • Business services
  • Universities

Use the links on the left of this page to find out more about our priorities within each sector. 

HIE provides support to bring about this growth through a range of interventions, principally: direct support to businesses and social enterprises, specialist programmes and interventions to create the conditions for strong sectoral growth, and influencing sectoral and public policy within Scotland, the UK and Europe.

An essential component of our sectoral development is the close working relationship we have with key partners including the Scottish Goverment, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Development International, VisitScotland, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Funding Council, Creative Scotland, industry leadership groups, local authorities
and the NHS.

Building our future 2015-18 we will: 

  • Support the further development of a world class energy sector including oil and gas and renewables
  • Maximise the region’s expertise in medical diagnostics, digital healthcare and natural products
  • Support an increase in the number of export active food and drink companies
  • Maximise the regional impact from significant tourism related events in 2014 and through the development of higher value opportunities
  • Lever the region’s reputation as a business services location to attract further investment and higher value activities
  • Support the University of the Highlands and Islands and the wider Scottish university sector in contributing to the region’s growth
  • Deliver an ambitious regional strategy for the creative industries sector
  • Pursue inward investment opportunities across all sectors

Find out more about our work across our growth sectors >

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