Moray entrepreneurs offered support to develop new products and processes

Horizon Scotland
Horizon Scotland

Moray entrepreneurs with are being encouraged to sign up to a programme that will help them improve the speed and success of their new product and process development.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE)’s Accelerated New Product or Process Development programme will bring renowned experts in the field to Forres on the 16th and 17th January 2019.

The workshop will be delivered by Dr Steve Carden and Dr Paolo Siciliano from PA Consulting in Cambridge. Each have years of experience in helping clients in diverse sectors to understand and build products and services that focus on meeting clients’ needs and in developing innovation strategies and processes.

The programme comes at a time when new product development is on the rise in Scotland. The latest annual report from the European Patent Office, issued in 2018, indicated that patent filings rose by almost ten per cent in 2017 versus the previous year, outperforming the rest of the UK. HIE believes there is a real need for a programme like this in the Highlands and Islands.

Commenting on the programme, Donna Chisholm, area manager for Moray at HIE, said: “Moray is home to a number of ambitious entrepreneurs, many with ideas for new products or services. It can, however, often be daunting to take the plunge or to diversify from an established product range or service. That’s why I’d encourage ambitious businesses and social enterprises in the region to sign up; the programme will help you focus, prioritise and, importantly, reduce  risk.”

Dr Paolo Siciliano, new product development consultant at PA Consulting, said: “Following a successful New Product or Process Development programme in Shetland this year, I can’t wait to get to Moray and meet more passionate entrepreneurs, eager to improve and grow their organisations.

“From PA Consulting’s Global Innovation and Technology Centre in Cambridge, our team of more than 250 innovative designers, scientists and engineers take our clients’ biggest and most complex challenges and turn them into positive outcomes at every step of the innovation journey, from ideation to market. We’ll be bringing this experience and expertise to Moray and I hope entrepreneurs in the region will embrace the opportunity to innovate and increase the efficiency of their new product or service development. Taking part in the programme also gives a chance to learn from other attendees; sharing examples of good practice, success stories and failures, and to compare challenges and barriers to successful innovation.”

The Accelerated New Product or Process Development programme has been rolled out across the Highlands and Islands following a successful pilot in 2017. Taking part in this pilot was John Ellis MBE, technical support assistant at MacLean’s Highland Bakery.

John said: “Having felt the need for a more structured way of developing new products for both customers and ourselves as a company, HIE’s Accelerated New Product or Process Development programme was the perfect opportunity to learn how to do so.

“The action plan we received was especially helpful, as was interacting with others on the programme as it gave us a great insight into how businesses from a cross-section of sectors develop new products. Developing and producing a new product is both difficult and daunting but if used properly, the advice and assistance given on the programme can give you the confidence to go forward while avoiding many of the potential pitfalls along the way.”

The Accelerated New Product or Process Development programme will be held at Horizon Scotland, Forres on 16-17th January 2019, with a follow-up session on 3rd April 2019. Those interested in taking part in the programme should email entrepreneurship@hient.co.uk to register interest and receive an application form.

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