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Northern Innovation Hub

From one-day workshops and events to intensive support lasting up to a year, the Northern Innovation Hub brings together a wide range of fantastic opportunities designed to fit the needs and aspirations of local businesses.

How can the Northern Innovation Hub help me?

This initiative is helping businesses thrive by securing new markets and refining products and services, as well as developing new ones, to make them more competitive.

It’s all about resilience: planning for the future, innovation and attracting investment. The Northern Innovation Hub aims to ensure that higher-skilled and better-paid jobs are created and sustained, and encourage young people to move to or stay in the region. 

The Hub is helping the Highlands become more connected and outward facing, showcasing its unique offering and world-class sectors.

What type of support is available?

Support offered centres around the themes of Young People, Growth, Sectors and Place:

  • Young People
    Support is available for small to medium sized enterprises across all sectors through Technology Placements and the IMPACT30 programme for young entrepreneurs.

  • Growth
    By providing targeted support to businesses, we will ensure economic resilience which will benefit a wide range of individuals and companies across the region.

  • Sectors and Place
    Support is particularly available to businesses working across life sciences, tourism, food and drink and the creative industries. We know that the Highland region has unique opportunities in these areas, which means that our programmes of support will have a far-reaching impact.

Have a look below to find out more about each of the programmes on offer and see how the Northern Innovation Hub can support your business.

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Karen Simpson from My Primary Tutor sitting at table
I went on it to be challenged and certainly was. I’m really glad I did, I wouldn’t have be online without it. Trialling the software was a real lightbulb moment that turned everything on its head for me and my business. I would 100% recommend Pathfinder.
Karen Simpson, Director and Tutor, My Primary Tutor

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Who we've helped

Many ambitious and innovative businesses across the Highlands are benefiting from our programmes. Read more about how our support has helped.

Kirsty Elizabeth

Kirsty Elizabeth Studios

A Fort William native, Kirsty, has found time to develop her real passion - a bespoke bridal occasion and evening wear brand. After years of planning and preparation, Kirsty finally took the plunge and launched Kirsty Elizabeth Studio in 2020.

Read more here
My Primary Tutor logo

My Primary Tutor

Discover how one Highland business owner faced the challenges brought about by COVID-19 and, by taking part in HIE’s Pathfinder Accelerator, was able to turn them into opportunities to innovate and grow.

Read more here
Mime Technologies

MIME Technologies

NEXUS, our Northern Innovation Hub-supported collaborative co-working space for the life sciences and tech sector, supports the growth of many ambitious young companies. One of these is MIME Technologies.

Read more here
people outside the West Highland Museum, Fort William

West Highland Museum

When COVID-19 struck, the West Highland Museum in Fort William knew it would need to adapt in order to survive.

Read more here
proterra case study


A childhood spent in Papua New Guinea, combined with expertise in micro renewable energy systems, led Terry Stebbings and his brother Neil to develop HydroTrailer, a cost-effective mobile hydropower system designed for developing countries.

Read more here
Skips at local construction company

Pat Munro

In 2019, Pat Munro’s commercial director, Mark Bramley, identified several IT projects that would introduce digitised processes and reduce administration time across all departments. The company’s existing IT team was already stretched, so Mark applied to hire a graduate via our Technology Placement Programme.

Read more here
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About the Northern Innovation Hub

The Northern Innovation Hub is part of the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal - a joint initiative supported by £315m investment from the UK and Scottish governments, The Highland Council, HIE and the University of the Highlands and Islands. This programme also receives financial support through the European Regional Development Fund Scotland Programme.


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