Co-Innovate programme

Support for businesses based in the west and the islands

The Co-Innovate programme provides innovation advice and funding for businesses in Argyll and the West Highlands and Islands, where it’s not always easy to network and access peer support or expert advice to aid the business growth journey.

What is it?

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

Support for SMEs includes:

  • One-to-one specialist advice to create an innovation strategy
  • R&D grant funding to work with academia
  • R&D grant funding to collaborate with another SME

The cross-border nature of Co-Innovate means businesses have access to academic and SME expertise from the Republic of Ireland.

How will you benefit? 

Co-Innovate provides funding and support to:

  • Help you work smarter
  • Survive and thrive in the Covid-19 environment
  • Equip you for future challenges
  • Add value to your business  
  • Stand out from the competition
  • Bring new products to market

An innovation adviser will work closely with you to help you get the most appropriate support through Co-Innovate.

Find out if you're eligible

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

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

  • Be a manufacturing or tradable services SME
  • Be located in one of the following areas: the Western Isles, Skye and Lochalsh, Lochaber or Argyll and the Isles
  • Be financially viable
  • Have an understanding of and capacity for innovation.

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

Find out how businesses are already benefitting from Co-Innovate


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


Funding to employ a dedicated innovation manager

The current economic climate is incredibly challenging for businesses but the need to adapt and change is inevitable. Whilst that’s a worry, it can also be an opportunity and in time, open new avenues for growth.

We can help you through the Co-Innovate programme 'Business with Academia' by funding 50% of a dedicated innovation project manager for a year.

Tell me more about Business with Academia 

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.

Co-Innovate events
Nih Stock


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