Business support

Co-Innovate workshops for businesses in the Outer Hebrides

Free workshops are taking place this month in Harris and Barra with a focus on how businesses can benefit from innovation.

Co-Innovate workshops for businesses in the Outer Hebrides

Co-Innovate is programme launched last year to encourage research and innovation. Small to medium enterprises in some of the most fragile areas of western Scotland are among those which will benefit.

The first workshop will be held at Tàlla na Mara, Isle of Harris on 20 March 10am-12pm. Jamie McGowan, owner of Essence of Harris will speak about how innovative new ideas helped him grow his business.

A second workshop will take place at Castlebay Community Hall on 29 March. Jane Morrison-Ross, Chief Executive of Taigh Chearsabhagh will talk about the innovative approach which has helped the arts and heritage centre to develop in North Uist. Each workshop is at 10am-12pm.

Donald Murray, Co-Innovate programme manager at HIE, said: “These workshops will explain how the programme can benefit businesses in the Outer Hebrides. Each company’s needs around innovation development are different, so everyone’s journey through the programme will be unique. The programme supplies the tools and support to help innovate, differentiate and compete successfully. It can help businesses identify opportunities for growth and create a vision to make it happen.

“There will also be mentoring and consultancy as part of the programme as well as grants for research and innovation with support from academic institutions, and for SMEs to engage an intern for cross border collaborative projects.”

The five year a £14.6 million Co-Innovate programme is supported by the European Union’s INTERREG VA programme and managed by the Special EU programmes Body.

In Scotland it will encourage and support innovation in SMEs in Argyll and Bute, Lochaber, Skye, the Outer Hebrides, Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway. It also covers Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland. The initiative brings together key development agencies including Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to deliver the programme in Scotland.

Anyone interested should contact donald.murray@hient.co.uk

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