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Find out what innovation could mean for your company, and see how we can help.

What is innovation?

Innovation is something every business can be part of. In its simplest form, it’s about improvement. It could be as unassuming as a change to internal systems, or as grand as the large-scale development of a new product or business direction.

Introducing innovation to your workplace isn’t as difficult as it might seem – especially with HIE to support you through every stage of the journey, from research and development, to grant funding or advice.

Have a look below and find out how we can help you.

You can also read more about the benefits of innovation within your business, and how implementing change can help you face the immediate challenges brought about by COVID-19.  

We help innovative businesses grow

We're working hard to react to the needs of businesses and the changes they face as a result of COVID-19. We believe innovation plays a key role in responding to the significant challenges posed by the crisis.

Businesses are having to diversify and innovate, so if you are looking to explore a new direction, our innovation services can support you. Whether you're looking to adapt your business model, explore new ways of working, find out about funding or assistance with recovery, get in touch. We help businesses of all sizes, from start-ups to companies with years of experience.


There’s no doubt COVID-19 has accelerated an innovation culture change for many business owners. Adapting operations, looking to new markets and working differently has never been as important for many businesses.
Gillian Galloway , Head of Innovation , HIE

2021 podcast series - Talk Innovation 

Our Talk Innovation podcast is hosted by former BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio Scotland presenter, Clare English, and features innovative Highlands and Islands based companies doing interesting, impactful work. 

Episode 1: Renewable Parts and the circular economy 

Renewable Parts is a supplier of new and refurbished turbine parts to the global wind energy sector and the company is highly focused on circular economy best practices. They have created a specialist refurbishment centre in Lochgilphead, which acts as a central pillar of the company’s vision to create a more sustainable industry. They apply the latest techniques to restore unserviceable parts to their original condition, which helps their customers reduce their own carbon footprint and become greener. Listen to the podcast to find out more about their journey!

Talk Innovation podcast link

Innovation events and webinars

Although getting together isn’t possible at the moment, we’re still committed to delivering our innovation support so we’ve taken it online and hold regular webinars and training sessions. Browse our events to see what's coming up.

Events and training

Why should businesses innovate?

We recognise that many businesses are focused on survival during the COVID-19 pandemic, rather than growing or increasing profits, but for others innovating is more important than ever. We’ve heard from many businesses that diversification and adaptation have become essential, while some have been using the unexpected downtime to progress projects that were on hold. If this sounds like your business, read on.

Research tells us that innovative companies grow faster and more profitably than others. When you innovate, you are adapting your business to the changing needs of markets and consumers. This keeps you one step ahead of the competition and makes the business more likely to succeed. Innovation benefits your workplace.

Businesses that foster a culture of openness and innovation inspire employees to contribute towards business improvement and idea generation. This helps employees feel more engaged and happier at work - making them more productive as a result. Increased productivity leads to increased profits and a faster rate.

The Highlands and Islands region is full of small to medium-sized businesses. At HIE we know that supporting SMEs to bring innovation into their business practice will benefit the whole economy in the long-term.

However you implement it, innovation makes your business stronger, more profitable and better equipped for whatever challenges it faces - so you can work on growing your business with confidence. When an innovative mindset is at the core of a business, everyone reaps the rewards.

If you are a larger business, HIE can also help you with your R&D plans, from project proposal stages through to funding.

How can my business begin to innovate?

Being innovative requires an open mind, business ambition - and an idea of how you could change your business. We can work with you to identify areas of operation where innovation can help you stay ahead of your competition, improve productivity, or help you reach new customers. This could be with a new product, a new process or a new business model.

Read more +

Ready to get started? 

To get innovation support from HIE, please complete our form. We'll need to find out a bit about you, your business and what you'd like help with so it'll take about 20 minutes to complete.

Apply for innovation support


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Innovation Newsletter