Embrace innovation . . . and get results

Gillian Galloway HIE Picture Credit John Paul/HIE

I’m passionate about innovation – it’s always been a topic that’s fascinated me.

At Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), I head up our innovation team and we work hard to deliver innovation support to businesses across the region.

Innovation is essential for Scotland to reach its commercial ambitions and has been globally recognised as a key component of business growth.

The process of innovation is vital for long-term economic security and it’s crucial for companies who want to remain competitive in their market.

However, many businesses perceive innovation as only being those big eureka moments and this can be a barrier to engaging with innovation services.

The beauty of innovation is that it can appear in many shapes and forms. Some of the best results have come about from a small usability change to an existing product, or even improving an internal process or practice.

There is also an untapped pool of organisations that could benefit from embracing innovation, but they have concerns around the investment of time and the effort involved proving worthwhile.

That’s why we’ve launched a new campaign – HIE time to innovate #HIEtime – to help businesses gain an understanding of what funding and innovation resources are available from HIE.

Local organisations with no more than 250 employers can receive up to £15,000 through our small grant funds. For those who are further along on their innovation journey, we have skilled consultants on hand offering detailed strategy assistance for one to two days.

We know that when businesses access the right support and advice, they can get their own creative visions off the ground. HIE’s funding has already successfully supported more than 500 businesses in the region and inc- reased turnover by £2.2million.

Our mission is to help more local organisations flourish.

We appreciate that it can be challenging stepping into the unknown and that innovation is daunting, but being innovative can ultimately make your company more profitable, so it makes sense to try.