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HIE pilot programme for businesses is a success

Published: 08/02/2018

Businesses from the Highlands and Islands have new products to launch this year after taking part in a pilot programme which equipped them with new ways of thinking and working to help them grow.

The three-month ‘New Product and Process Development’ programme included sixteen people from ten businesses taking part in workshops and webinars.

Topics included ‘identifying market opportunities’ and ‘hints and tips to commercialise products and processes’. The delegates were taken through the key steps to improve the speed and success of developing new products or process.

The programme was led by HIE and delivered by Steve Carden from PA Consulting, a renowned expert in his field.

HIE’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation teams and PA Consulting were on hand to assist the businesses prepare a bespoke three-month action plan to be implemented before the group met again last month.

John Ellis from Maclean’s Highland Bakery took part in the pilot programme. He said: “I found the programme to be extremely helpful and informative. The interaction with other companies outside our own food manufacturing expertise was interesting and informative. The whole process gave me a way to structure our approach to ensure we focused on the essential areas in the new product development.”

Louise MacDonald from HIE, said: “Innovation is important to company growth. All the businesses who took part made impressive strides during the three months and several have new products ready to launch this year. We have had fantastic feedback from this pilot programme. Due to its success, we intend to roll the programme out to more businesses across the region.”