General HIE news

Firms offered free innovation support as workshop tour starts

Businesses and social enterprises across the Highlands and Islands are being encouraged to take part in innovation workshops taking place over the next two years.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is touring the Innovate Your Business (IYB) workshops in locations across the region, with business innovation support firm, True North Innovation.

The workshops will offer attendees support to nurture and develop their ideas for new products, services or processes, and how to access one-to-one support and funding. Companies of any size and from any sector are welcome to sign up.

The tour kicks off on 24 October with a dedicated interactive workshop at HIE’s office on Inverness Campus. This will help firms find out what their customers really want, create ideas for potential new products and services to satisfy them and how to validate these and decide which (if any) to take forward. These empowering and informative sessions aim to energise your business ideas and allow likeminded entrepreneurs and innovation experts. The workshops will also outline what other products and services HIE and partners can offer to grow and innovate your business.

HIE’s innovation team will be on hand to advise businesses about Innovate Your Business (IYB) and upcoming workshops at Elgin Town Hall on 8 November and at the Moorings Hotel, Fort William on 19 November.

More than 700 businesses in the region have already benefitted from HIE’s innovation support. Gillian Galloway, head of innovation at HIE, said:

“Innovation is one of the main drivers behind business growth and regional development and is demonstrated constantly in companies across the Highlands and Islands. These workshops are about supporting innovators, connecting them with experts who can help them take their ideas to the next stage of commercialisation. In turn this will ultimately increase the contribution they make to the region’s economy, create employment and strengthen community resilience.”

Rowan Norrie, director of True North Innovation, said:

“Innovation is essential for companies to remain competitive. It comes in different forms and from organisations of all sizes and from all sectors, looking to improve the way they work and the products and services they are selling. Their ideas don’t need to be new to the world, just new to their business and add value to their customers.

“Innovation is more than just developing a new product - there are many steps and elements to manage. Innovate Your Business is there to help guide you along the way, offering practical expertise and insights."

Details of the innovation workshop tour are available on HIE’s website at

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