Our priorities

Our priorities

We have four priorities that we will focus on over the coming years to deliver sustainable economic growth across the region. They are: 

Our 2020 ambitions

We are pursuing a number of long-term ambitions. By 2020, we aim to see a Highlands and Islands that is:

  • A world-class digital region
  • An international centre for marine renewables
  • Home to more growth businesses operating in international markets
  • Recognised internationally for digital healthcare and marine science expertise
  • Characterised by dynamic, sustainable communities
  • A globally-connected region
  • An attractive region for young people.



HIE is keen to work with businesses whose development plans will lead to a measurable increase in turnover, particularly in international markets, alongside increased employment, especially for young people. Through our account management approach, we provide bespoke solutions incorporating a wide range of support, including access to national and international serivces and expertise.

Find out more about how we support businesses >

Our approach to strengthening communities is threefold: we invest in building community capacity and confidence; empower communities to acquire, manage and exploit community assets for community benefit; enable sustainable growth in the social economy through strong social enterprises.

Find out more about how we support communities >

We focus on the sectors identified in Scotland's Economic Strategy: Food and drink, business services, life sciences, energy, tourism and creative industries. We provide sectoral support through a range of interventions: direct support to businesses and social enterprises, specialist programmes and interventions to create the conditions for strong sectoral growth, and influencing sectoral and public policy.

Find out more about how we develop growth sectors >

We play a leading role in developing the conditions that will enable the Highlands and Islands to fulfil its potential as a globally competitive region. Modern telecommunications, serviced sites and premises, good transport connections and university education are essential components of a successful region. Digital connectivity is a top priority for HIE.

Find out more about creating a competitive region >

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