Funding and support for R&D projects

Developing a new product or process often requires research and development (R&D). Get help to develop your project proposal, find partners and access funding.


All sectors in the Highlands and Islands are being impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. We have R&D funding available which will prove critical for many businesses. If you are looking to develop a new product or process this usually requires R&D, and whether it’s carried out in-house or with a partner, risk is a likely factor - which can make it tricky to finance the project.

R&D grant funding is discretionary and all sizes of businesses are eligible. We will consider grant support to R&D projects where:

  • Primary and secondary market research indicates a clear market need for the end product/process and a market beyond the Highlands and Islands.
  • A route to market has been mapped out and there is a strong business case for investing in developing the product/process.
  • A strategy for protecting and exploiting the intellectual property generated has been developed.
  • You can quantify the impact the new product/process will have on your business.
  • There is a clearly identified funding shortfall which cannot be met by the company or raised privately.
  • It can be demonstrated that funding from HIE would result in benefits to the Highlands and Islands economy.

For more details, contact us at


Scotland and the UK have a very supportive network of funders for business R&D. Our team of innovation specialists are here to help develop your project from idea to commercialisation, and identify the most appropriate sources of funding. The service includes guidance on preparing applications for a range of schemes, including HIE grants, SMART: SCOTLAND and Innovate UK, as well as sector-specific funds.

We can also facilitate introductions to potential collaborators in academia, through Interface, Scottish Innovation Centres and the UK Catapult network.

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