The aims of the project.

The project is based on a needs analysis of SMEs to develop business growth programmes in four main areas:

SME growth

SME internationalisation


Rural clusters

The project has been progressing well with 120 SME’s been surveyed across the partnership using the business innovation navigator and compass tool developed by Lulea University of Technology. The areas covered in this survey are: product, process, administration, marketing, creative work environment and strategy.

The partners are currently working on the following developments

Scotland – managing and co-ordinating the project, working most closely with Ireland on sharing best practice across the region as well as developing a Innovation support club pilot in the Highlands and Islands

Iceland – developing two cluster groups:

tourism sector

a regional interest group (mainly fisheries)

Finland – developing international strategy plans with 10 SME’s as a result of the information from the innovation survey with a focus on international marketing strategies

Ireland – innovation study and working with 10 SME’s to utilise a more structured approach to innovation as well as working with Scotland on how to map out innovation ecosystems.

12 knowledge exchange placements are to be undertaken as part of the project to share knowledge and experience between the participating regions.


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