Co-Innovate programme

Support for businesses based on the West Coast of Scotland

Services offered through Co-Innovate are being adapted to ensure continued support is available for existing and new applicants during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Running in Argyll and the islands, Lochaber, Skye and the Outer Hebrides, Co-Innovate is a five-year programme that supports SMEs in these remote communities. The Co-Innovate Programme is designed to help businesses nurture ideas and grow their success. 

Supported by the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme, Co-innovate brings together local business networks, HIE and Business Gateway to deliver innovation resources to local businesses. Throughout the five-year programme, support includes free workshops, business health checks, mentoring and consultancy, access to grants for research and innovation, and cross-border collaborative projects.

What is it?

In an ever changing and increasingly competitive marketplace, innovation is key to business growth and success. Co-Innovate offers funding and tailored advice to grow your business by helping you to adopt innovative practices and develop innovative products and services.

How will you benefit? 

Co-Innovate could provide you with:

  • Advice and networking opportunities through workshops
  • One-to-one tailored advice and action planning
  • Funded mentoring
  • Up to 50% funding for a 12 month innovation project in collaboration with academia
  • Up to 50% funding for a 24 month R&D project in collaboration with other businesses

Co-Innovate is a cross-border programme led by Intertrade Ireland, meaning Highlands and Islands businesses are able to access cross-border collaborators and academic expertise.

An innovation adviser will work closely with you to help you get the most appropriate support through Co-Innovate. Certain eligibility criteria are required to be met.

Find out if you're eligible

There are some requirements participants will have to fulfil in order to take part in this programme: 

  • A manufacturing or tradable services company
  • Located in: Northern Ireland, the border countries of Ireland (Monaghan, Leitrim, Cavan, Louth, Sligo and Donegal) and Western Scotland (Dumfries & Galloway, East Ayrshire and North Ayrshire mainland; South Ayrshire; Lochaber. Skye & Lochalsh, Arran & Cumbrae and Argyll & Bute and the Western Isles).
  • Financially viable
  • Understanding of and capacity for innovation
  • 1 - 249 full time employees.
  • Able to demonstrate the capacity and commitment to support Co-Innovate activity at senior management level.
  • State Aid

More information on eligibility is available on the Co-Innovate website.

*Co-Innovate is supported by the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body, and delivered locally by HIE.

Register your interest

You can find out more and register your interest on the Co-Innovate website. Someone from our local Co-Innovate delivery team will get in touch.

Visit the Co-Innovate website

Innovation, the development and commercialisation of new ideas, is key to the success and growth of these businesses, so it’s vital that we continue to support and encourage this.
Michael Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Government Business and Constitutional Relations, Scottish Government.

Co-Innovate Workshops and Events

A number of Co-Innovate events take place throughout the year. All upcoming events can be found online at the link below. Please note that you are required to register for the programme before you are able to attend any of the events.

See upcoming Co-Innovate events
Nih Stock