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New hub to boost construction innovation

28 Oct 20 A new innovation hub is being launched next month to help boost construction and manufacturing in the Scottish Highlands & Islands.

Andrew Nurse
Andrew Nurse

The collaborative initiative is led by Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) and Inverness College UHI, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands, with support from Highlands & Islands Enterprise. The DataLab and Censis are also providing support. 

Construction and manufacturing companies will soon be able to access the new online hub. The Make It Smart Hub will be launched at a webinar at 2pm on Wednesday 11 November, when they will be able to hear about the opportunities for companies and organisations in the region and how the new initiative can support their businesses.

Following the launch, companies will be able to sign up to the Make It Smart Hub on its online portal giving them access to learn, apply and share new technologies, processes and skills that improve productivity and drive inclusive growth.

Signing up on the Make It Smart Hub portal will allow companies to benefit from a supporting programme of activity including:

  • Exploring new technologies, connecting collaboratively with new partners in new markets, learning about the latest innovations or new products and services, and getting involved;
  • CPD training, events and virtual demonstrations;
  • Access to equipment and technological expertise;
  • R&D and collaboration opportunities.

At the webinar, the audience will learn more about the Hub from CSIC, and how Inverness College UHI and Highlands & Islands Enterprise can support innovation. Clare Campbell of Prickly Thistle Scotland and Matt Stevenson of EcoSystems Technologies will also speak of the opportunities for manufacturing and construction companies in the region.

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Andrew Nurse, innovation manager at CSIC, said: “The Hub gives companies access to the latest innovation, helping them to work collaboratively to capitalise on local and national business opportunities.  They will have the opportunity to explore innovation, to access free learning resources and advanced equipment and to be matched with solution providers to meet their challenges.  By signing up to the hub on its website they can access everything the initiative has to offer and be kept up-to-date with new resources and rich programme of activity that is planned over the next few years.”

Georgina Parker, director of external relations at Inverness College UHI, said: “Inverness College UHI is delighted to be working in partnership with CSIC to share this important resource with SMEs in the Highlands and Islands, providing support for the sector as it looks to grow, develop and innovate during these challenges times. This platform will help make specialist equipment, technical expertise, training research and development support, more accessible to companies in this region.”

Steven Hutcheon, Highlands & Islands Enterprise’s acting regional head of technology and innovation, said: “Innovation is fundamental to business growth and diversification. It is also absolutely essential in Scotland’s economic recovery in manufacturing.  This project will help businesses in the area explore and deploy new technologies and processes speeding up adoption and increasing productivity.  We look forward to working with partners to realise the benefits across the region.” 

The form for companies to register for the webinar is available online (link opens in new tab).

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