Innovation is more important than ever for Highlands and Islands businesses

Published 23/10/2023 by Gillian Galloway 2 min read

At the heart of the Scottish Government’s Innovation Strategy, launched earlier this year, is a vision for Scotland to become one of the most innovative small nations in the world.

It's no secret that innovation is globally recognised as a key driver to increasing productivity within businesses. Making our products, services and systems smarter drives business growth while creating opportunities for better jobs.

We see time and again, innovating businesses are more resilient to external knocks and better placed to address society’s big challenges, such as an ageing population, demand for sustainable food production and tackling net zero.

Research also shows significant disparities in the productivity levels of Scotland’s regions, with the Highlands and Islands below the Scottish average. This is, in part, due to the type of sectors that makeup the area’s economy. Productivity is higher in knowledge intensive sectors, such as IT and engineering, than in those of accommodation and retail, which are proportionally larger in our region. We focus on closing the gap for all businesses by supporting innovation across all sectors.

We've already supported numerous organisations across our region to successfully introduce or advance innovation. And, we have a £3.5m innovation support programme in place now to help those that want to follow in their footsteps.

Through our support programme, we can provide you with a dedicated innovation advisor and provide specialist advice on intellectual property, for example. Our new product development programme is open to applicants (apply by 31 January to secure your place, we'd love to have you!) and we also have innovation grants of up to £100,000 available.

We also run a series of online and in-person events, workshops and learning journeys focusing on a range of key innovation themes. All aimed at supporting business innovation. 

So, if you're based in the Highlands and Islands region, and think we could help you take the next steps towards progressing innovation within your business, please reach out. 

You can have a look at the innovation pages here on our website, or get in touch to have a chat with us about how we can help. 

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