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HIE to offer 24-hour helpline for local businesses

Orkney’s businesses are being invited the make the most of HIE’s Time to Innovate campaign.

Businesses in Orkney and across the Highlands and Islands region will have access to a 24-hour innovation helpline this Friday, February 16, as Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) kick starts an innovation campaign to help businesses flourish.

HIE’s innovation funding has increased turnover for organisations in the region by £2.2m and is aiming to generate £1.4m more.

Launching on February 16, the HIE time to innovate campaign will provide companies with the tools to get their own creative visions off the ground. With 24 hours dedicated to innovation, local businesses will have access to a free hotline, opportunities to book one-to-one consultations with innovation experts and the chance to apply for a slice of £24,000 of funding.

In the past two years, HIE’s innovation team has supported more than 500 local organisations and awarded 30 small business grants, totalling over £270,000.

As a result of the small injection of funding, HIE has directly increased employment by almost 80. This latest campaign aims to build on these successes by extending the support, to the as yet untapped pool of businesses that could benefit from innovation.’

Gillian Galloway, HIE’s head of innovation is focused on ensuring innovation makes a positive impact for more businesses in the Highlands and Islands. She said: “It’s crucial for companies to embrace innovation if they want to remain competitive in their market.

“Innovation can take many shapes and forms, from the big eureka moments like AirBnB, to a smart technology like Amazon Alexa, or something on the scale of Laggan Dam’s hydro power.

“However, some of the best innovations can come from small usability changes to existing products, new ways to deliver services to customers or improving internal processes. Whilst these changes may appear relatively small the overall impact they can have can be huge.”

Starting on Friday 16 February, with 24-hours dedicated to innovation, ‘HIE time to innovate’, will roll out a number of campaign initiatives, ranging from digital content provided by online experts, peer influencers and industry leaders to hyper localised events delivering networking opportunities to local communities.

Businesses looking to sign up to access HIE’s innovation services can visit www.hie.co.uk/hietime

HIE 24-hour Innovation Hotline will be available from midnight to midnight, from February 16, and provides expert info on what funding and innovation resources are available from HIE. The helpline number is 0300 013 5041.

HIE Innovation Expert Consultations will be available from February 10 to 23, with one-on-one support through being offered with the opportunity to apply for funding. Call 0300 013 5041 to book a session.

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