Inner Moray Firth is the most densely populated area in the Highlands and Islands.
Stretching from Ross-shire south to Badenoch and Strathspey, the area is home to around 143,500 people, more than a third of them in the Highland capital of Inverness.
The area is connected with the rest of Scotland by major trunk roads, rail and ferry services. Inverness Airport has daily flights to Amsterdam, London, and several other locations in the UK and Ireland.
It is an area which regularly scores high in quality of life surveys, combining the attractions of city living with a rich culture and history.
The area also boasts such world famous attractions as Loch Ness and the Cairngorms National Park.Show more
The range of businesses and community enterprises in the area is as diverse as the landscape. Tourism and food and drink play a big role, as does the service sector.
Inverness is developing as a centre for life sciences commercialisation and research. The country's largest life sciences employer, LifeScan Scotland, is based in the city, along with the prestigious Centre for Health Science.
Currently HIE is leading a partnership to develop Inverness Campus, a highly ambitious education and business park which will be a centre for learning and research as well as a prime location for inward investment.
One of the most ambitious projects in Scotland, Inverness Campus opened to the public in May 2015. It is a nationally and internationally significant location for business, research and education
Nigg Skills Academy (NSA) has been built at Nigg Energy Park, which was purchased by Global Energy Group in October. HIE has already committed £1.8 million to the development
Innovation Campaign Set to Ignite Businesses in the Highlands and Islands.
A contract has been awarded for construction of a new £4.5m building on Inverness Campus to support growth in life sciences and technology sectors.
A £4m investment by HIE in a new School of Health, Social Care and Life Sciences for the region has enabled a total funding package of more than £20m and created 16 research posts.
Businesses across the Highlands and Islands will have access to a 24-hour innovation helpline this Friday, as Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) kick starts an innovation movement to help businesses flourish in the region.
A major independent and comprehensive review of ski uplift facilities and infrastructure on Cairngorm Mountain is about to get underway.
Established by Farquhar Laing in 1994, Black Isle Bronze is the UK's leading bronze foundry and the largest foundry in Scotland.
The Nigg fabrication site on the Cromarty Firth was successfully purchased by Global Energy Group (GEG) in October 2011 with £1.8m funding package from HIE to help transform the largely dormant site into a multi-use modern energy park.