News Item Default

Shetland entrepreneurs offered support

Published: 28/08/2018

Shetland entrepreneurs are being encouraged to sign up to a new programme to help them improve the speed and success of their new product and process development.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE)’s Accelerated New Product or Process Development programme will bring renowned experts in the field to Lerwick on the 25th and 26th September 2018.

The September workshop will be delivered by Dr Steve Carden and Dr Paolo Siciliano from PA Consulting in Cambridge. Each have years of experience in helping clients in diverse markets to understand and build products that focus on meeting business needs and in developing innovation strategy and processes.

The programme comes at a time when new product development is on the rise in Scotland. The latest annual report from the European Patent Office, issued earlier this year, indicated that patent filings rose by almost ten per cent in 2017 versus the previous year, outperforming the rest of the UK. HIE believes there is a real need for a programme like this in the Highlands and Islands.

Commenting on the programme, Louise MacDonald, senior entrepreneurship manager at Highlands and Islands Enterprise, said: “We know that there are many entrepreneurs in Shetland with ideas for new products or services but it can be daunting to take the plunge. This programme will help to focus the mind, prioritise and, importantly, reduce the risk. We know from a pilot in 2017 that there is a real appetite for this programme so I am really looking forward to watching its progress over the next few months.”

Dr Paolo Siciliano, new product development consultant at PA Consulting, said: “Having been part of the team that delivered the New Product or Process Development programme in the Highlands and Islands in 2017, I can’t wait to get to Shetland and meet more passionate entrepreneurs, eager to improve and grow their organisations.

“From PA Consulting’s Global Innovation and Technology Centre in Cambridge, our team of more than 250 innovative designers, scientists and engineers take our clients’ biggest and most complex challenges and turn them into positive outcomes at every step of the innovation journey, from ideation to market. We’ll be bringing this experience and expertise to Shetland and I hope entrepreneurs in the area will embrace the opportunity to innovate and increase the efficiency of their new product development. Taking part in the programme also gives a chance to learn from other attendees; sharing examples of good practice, success stories and failures, and to compare challenges and barriers to successful innovation.”

The Accelerated New Product or Process Development programme is being rolled out across the Highlands and Islands following a successful pilot in 2017. Taking part in this pilot was John Ellis MBE, technical support assistant at MacLean’s Highland Bakery.

John said: “Having felt the need for a more structured way of developing new products for both customers and ourselves as a company, HIE’s Accelerated New Product or Process Development programme was the perfect opportunity to learn how to do so.

“The action plan we received was especially helpful, as was interacting with others on the programme as it gave us a great insight into how businesses from a cross-section of sectors develop new products. Developing and producing a new product is both difficult and daunting but if used properly, the advice and assistance given on the programme can give you the confidence to go forward while avoiding many of the potential pitfalls along the way.”

The Accelerated New Product or Process Development programme will be held in Shetland on 25-26th September, with a follow-up session on 5th December 2018. Those interested in taking part in the programme should email to register interest and receive an application form.

Related Articles