Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Great value Unlimited Broadband from an award winning provider  

 

£16m Highland Innovation Boost

14th December 2017

A new £16 million initiative is to be launched in the Highlands to boost innovation.

The Northern Innovation Hub (NIH) will focus on four key industry sectors. It will encourage the adoption of new technologies and create more opportunities to attract and retain young people.

The initiative forms part of the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal (CRD) and is being led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) on behalf of the CRD partnership.

The Hub is a set of carefully targeted projects to strengthen innovation and increase competitiveness among businesses across The Highland Council area.

Over a seven year period it is expected to support more than 500 jobs and boost the Highland economy by around £26m a year.

Rather than a physical entity, the NIH will be dispersed and designed to benefit both small and emerging enterprises, reflecting the geography and business make-up of the area.

It will focus on life sciences, tourism, food and drink and creative industries, as well as delivering a technology and young people strand.

The young people emphasis will include the creation of new 12-month graduate placement opportunities in technology for small businesses, and 12-week summer student placements.

There will be support for 30 high-growth young or start-up companies each year and a ‘coding academy' to train and develop a new generation of industry ready programmers and software developers.

In tourism the emphasis will be on digital and adventure tourism. This includes helping businesses embrace and exploit opportunities through digital enhancement across all aspects of their business.

The NIH will also help adventure tourism operators accelerate their growth through collaboration and capitalising on the natural advantage of the Highlands.

An XpoNorth digital project will help creative industries test new products, access funding and increase their profile.

There will be projects to help life sciences firms accelerate innovation towards commercialisation, attract inward investors and provide physical space for collaboration.

Food and drink projects are also being developed to support innovation and increase collaboration between industry, academia, research institutes and the public sector.

The Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal was signed in Invergordon in January 2017. Its aim is to position Inverness and the Highlands as a region of digital opportunity.

This signing formalised the commitment of £315m worth of funding; £135m from the Scottish Government, supported by £127m from The Highland Council and its partners, and another £53m from the UK Government.

The Northern Innovation Hub will receive £11m of CRD funding, along with £3m from the European Regional Development Fund and £2m from HIE.

David Oxley, HIE's director of business and sector development, said:"The Northern Innovation Hub is a great opportunity to support business innovation in a way that will deliver transformational change in the Highland economy. It will complement our other forms of innovation support and help address challenges facing the region such as geography, population and opportunities to collaborate."

Councillor Allan Henderson, Chair of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee of The Highland Council, added: "The Northern Innovation Hub will be a fundamental part of establishing the Highlands as a region of opportunity and growth with an emphasis on harnessing digital technologies, growing new business and developing relevant opportunities for young people."

UK Government Minister, Lord Duncan, said: “The UK Government is pleased to be investing £11 million in the Northern Innovation Hub through the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal. The project is a genuinely innovative approach, remotely connecting key sectors and encouraging businesses to adopt new technologies that will help them grow. It will help support growth through better paid and higher skilled jobs, helping to keep young people in the area. This project recognises the unique geography of the area, and I am confident that it will bring great successes for businesses and companies across the Highland region.”

Scottish Government Economy Secretary Keith Brown said:“The Northern Innovation Hub will be fundamental in building new businesses, developing new skills, and attracting young people to the region. I’m sure that it will be a key driver in maximising the significant contribution that Inverness and the wider Highland area makes to the future prosperity and economic growth of Scotland.

“The £135 million invested by Scottish Government as part of the £315 million City Deal - which the Innovation Hub is a part of - for the Inverness and Highland region, will continue to deliver significant long-term benefits for the city, region and Scotland as a whole.

 

Related Businesses

 

Related Articles

26/1/2018
Norscot In Line For National Innovation AwardThumbnail for article : Norscot In Line For National Innovation Award
A kit home and window manufacturer with operations in Caithness and Inverness has been shortlisted for a national award for innovation.   Norscot is one of three finalists in the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards 2018 Innovation of the Year category, after developing a system for clients to view their new homes on site virtually before building work starts.  
HIE Invests In Ambitious Shetland Engineering Firm
A Shetland boat building and engineering company has increased its workforce and is set to expand internationally as orders for workboats grow.   Six new jobs have already been created at Malakoff Ltd after opening a new site earlier this year at Greenhead Base in Lerwick.  
£60 Million Fund Open For Low Carbon Projects
A £60m fund to keep Scotland at the forefront of low carbon innovation is now open for applications.   The Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP) will fund large scale projects which support the ambitions of the Scottish Government's new Scotland's Energy Strategy, which was published in December 2017.  
Jobs Created In Orkney As Software Development Company Expands
A global software development business with its technology hub based in Orkney is moving to larger premises.   Kyloe is set to double its staff in the next few years and has secured £191,250 investment from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to help it move to a more suitable premises.  
Call to Food and Drink and Tourism businesses to feed into new strategy
Recent VisitScotland figures have highlighted that 62%* of holidaymakers to Scotland said trying locally sourced food and drink is an important part of their visit.   Share In a bid to capitalise on the benefits of a close relationship between food and drink producers and the tourism sector, a range of industry representatives and public agencies are working together to develop a new strategy - the ‘National Framework to Grow Food Tourism'.  
Highlands And Islands Datafest18
A special week long programme is being held in the Highlands and Islands de-mystifying the ways data can be used to change lives, deliver better services and grow business.   Share Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is co-ordinating a local Fringe programme as part of the Scottish DataFest18 festival, organised by The Data Lab.  
Auchrannie Completes Transfer Of Ownership To Employees
Luxury resort Auchrannie has completed its transition to become Scotland's latest employee-owned business, with 160 members of staff becoming owners.   Share Located in Brodick on the Isle of Arran, Auchrannie is an award-winning resort comprising two 4-star hotels, thirty 5-star self-catering lodges, two leisure clubs, three individually branded restaurants, a children’s Playbarn, an ASPA spa and Arran Adventure outdoor company.  
Is Cyber Security Part Of Your Business Plan?Thumbnail for article : Is Cyber Security Part Of Your Business Plan?
The increasing use of digital services in a connected world brings an increasing threat of cyberattack.  The Internet that connects systems doesn't discriminate between the type of traffic it allows on the network, it is our responsibility to manage this when we connect to and use the Internet by recognising and reducing the risk as appropriate.  
Island Music Studio Aims To Attract Global StarsThumbnail for article : Island Music Studio Aims To Attract Global Stars
A new residential music studio in the Outer Hebrides is set to capitalise on its scenic location and high-end technology to attract both UK and international recording artists.   Black Bay Studio has opened for business on the island of Great Bernera just off the west coast of the Isle of Lewis.  
Why International Trade Is More Important Than Ever
It has never been more important for businesses in the Highlands and Islands to target global markets, writes Martin Johnson, HIE's head of international trade and investment.   At the same time global markets have never been more accessible to the region, so we are in a good place.  

[Printer Friendly Version]