A campaign to boost business innovation across the Highlands and Islands is set for lift-off.

Ambitious companies looking to implement a new method, idea or product will be able to tap into a team of innovation experts as they embark on a tour of the region.

The specialist advisors from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) will be offering support to nurture, develop and drive businesses forward, as part of the Innovate Your Business (IYB) programme.

Gillian Galloway, head of innovation at HIE, said: “Our Innovate Your Business programme aims to sharpen skills, support and help grow your business.

“We want to see good ideas flourish across all parts of the Highlands and Islands and our advisors are ready to support businesses develop new products and services, and new ways of working.”

Steve Macfarlane from Glenuig Inn received the support recently, he said:

“I knew what I wanted to do, and the funding matched. It helped me get further down the line with my project.

“I wanted to move forward with this project to help grow the business and the innovation team offered useful, financial support to help me reach my bigger goal”

Local businesses with no more than 250 employees can receive up to £15,000 through the HIE Small Innovation Grant. For those who are further along on their innovation journey, skilled consultants will be on hand offering expert innovation assistance.

Karen Scofield Seal from Oceanium based in Oban said:

“We received a small grant to support a research project. It’s been really helpful as it gave us data that has helped move the business forward.”

Businesses with access to the right support and advice can get their growth plans off the ground. HIE’s support has already successfully supported more than 700 businesses in the region and the HIE Small Innovation Grants have increased turnover by £5.2million.

For the latest details on where the campaign will be touring and to access the specialist advisors, businesses can sign up for HIE’s innovation newsletter here: innovation.hie.co.uk.

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