Development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has appointed a new regional head of innovation and technology.
Based at its An Lochran headquarters in Inverness, David Howie will be responsible for all the Scottish Government-funded organisation’s activities relating to innovation, technology and advanced engineering.
His new role includes responsibility for developments connected with the Northern Innovation Hub, a project led by HIE and funded by the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal.
Mr Howie joined the agency from the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service, where he headed a team delivering around 60 projects each year across the north of Scotland.
He trained as a scientist, gaining a BSc degree in chemistry from Stirling University and a graduateship of the Royal Society of Chemistry from Napier University, in Edinburgh.
Mr Howie began his career in the paper industry, working in product development with Tullis Russell in Fife before moving into management.
In 2003, he joined Inverness Medical, which became LifeScan Scotland, where he led the engineering team, then focused on technology transfer and new product introduction.
Welcoming Mr Howie’s appointment, HIE’s director of business and sector development David Oxley, said: “David’s blend of skills, experience and passion for the job will be invaluable in establishing a whole new approach to innovation and technology.
“His role will be vital in delivering our priorities for growing businesses in the coming years and I am greatly looking forward to working with him.”
Mr Howie added: “This is a great time to be joining HIE. There’s a huge amount of innovation work already achieved in recent years, and a strong pipeline of emerging projects.
“I very much look forward to working with the team, our clients and partners to build on this in the years ahead. I am particularly excited about the opportunities for the region, including those linked to digitisation and Industry 4.0.”
HIE has developed the Northern Innovation Hub to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to improve their businesses.
It will run projects in the life sciences, tourism, food and drink and creative industries sectors.