HIE's innovation service

Now more than ever you may be considering how to do things differently - and our new innovation service can help you to get new ideas off the ground.  

Innovating doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t have to involve an invention, and it doesn’t have to be big but it means different things to different businesses. At its core, it means making changes that will improve your business. This could be a process change to improve your productivity, adapting your business model to open up new ways of reaching customers, reducing waste and inefficiency to operate more sustainably, or opening up a whole new market through business diversification.

How we can help

The positive thing about innovation is its flexibility - it can be applied to any part of your business and delivers a host of wide-ranging advantages. Whatever your goal, our innovation team is on hand to support you to identify or implement the changes you need to make to thrive. We can provide advice and support on:

  • Research and development
  • Developing new products and services
  • Improving productivity
  • Identifying new opportunities for your business to explore
  • Developing a strategy for future innovation
  • Protecting your intellectual assets
  • Funding between £25,000 and £100,000*

In short, our innovation service can help if you are planning to do anything that helps your business stay competitive and deal with the challenges of change.

We've already supported a wide range of businesses across the Highlands and Islands through our innovation support, for example: we've helped a business to reduce its carbon footprint and operate more sustainably; supported a business to make packaging improvements to increase shelf life so that a product could be shipped further, and helped a business increase the level of automation in its manufacturing process.

How do I get in touch?

Companies actively seeking growth through implementing new ideas should approach HIE to make sure the first step is in the right direction. If you have your eye on the future and a commitment to embracing new ideas, we want to hear from you. 

To qualify for support from our innovation team:

  • you need to have a registered company with a business plan and have ambitions to grow. If you have not yet formed your business or need advice on preparing a business plan, please get in touch with Business Gateway.
  • you must be based in the Highlands and Islands region
  • you must be able to demonstrate there are clear technical risks associated with the project
  • you must be able to match fund your project.

What level of funding is available?

We can help part-fund your innovation project. The levels of funding we can contribute is dependent on your specific project requirements and the size of your business with grants of between £25,000 and £100,000 possible. However, you must be able to demonstrate that you can match fund your project.

 The small print - this is important 

  • Applicants must comply with HIE’s fair work conditions for grant support. For more information, please visit our fair work page. If you would like to speak to someone about the fair work requirement or need more information, please email enquiries@hient.co.uk.
  • All HIE grant assistance is discretionary.
  • Grant awards are subject to due diligence and budget availability. Due diligence includes: making an assessment on the need for public funding; the viability of the business going forward; the ability of the applicant to deliver the project; the impact of the development on the economy, and the strength of the business case presented to HIE.


How to enquire

Please complete our short online form to enquire about our innovation and R&D support.

Innovation and R&D enquiry form

It’s crucial for companies to embrace innovation if they want to remain competitive in their market.
Gillian Galloway, head of innovation, HIE


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