Community Assets

Highlands and Islands businesses triumph as winners of collaboration prize announced

A new consortium featuring businesses from across the Highlands and Islands is celebrating after winning a share of the £60,000 Collaboration Prize.

The prize is delivered by Co-operative Development Scotland on behalf of Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

Made in Scotland – Collaborative Export Solutions, which is a partnership of eleven companies involved in the food and drink sector, scooped one of the six available awards.

Launched for entries in September 2016, the Collaboration Prize attracted a record number of responses from across Scotland.

Made in Scotland offers a range of products including salmon, cheese, cakes and charcuterie as well as craft gin, craft beer and whisky. The collaboration will enable member businesses to offer the basket of Scottish produce to lucrative overseas markets by pooling together their resources and experience, both intellectually and financially. 

Willie Cameron from Made in Scotland commented on winning the Prize:  “It is fantastic news to hear we have been successful. The money and support will enable us to access expert advice on marketing food and drink on a global scale, as well as allowing us to develop our brand and create a website with e-commerce functionality. This will help us to really get our name and offering out there on a magnitude that would be far more difficult for us to achieve as individual companies.

“Not only does working together enable us to reach an international customer base as a whole, it also encourages us to support each other by highlighting new opportunities that we think will benefit individual members. By continuing to collaborate, we aim to further boost Scotland’s global reputation as a producer of some of the finest food and drink in the world, hopefully attracting more of the country’s like-minded, quality producers to join us along the way.”

Elaine Jamieson, head of Food and Drink at HIE, said:  “It is great to see Made in Scotland’s innovative approach receiving recognition and therefore this prize, which will allow the consortium to invest further for growth.  As we celebrate the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, exports of food and drink from Scotland continue to rise, driven by the interest in Scotland’s heritage and culture and an increasing international reputation for excellent produce, which we are confident will be further cemented by this new venture.”

Entrants to the Prize had to pitch an idea for a new collaborative enterprise.  Each of the winning collaborations will receive £5,000 (to implement their collaborative idea), advice to set up as a consortium co-operative, up to £5,000 business support (delivered by Scottish Enterprise or HIE), and export advisor support where appropriate. 

Accessing new and international markets was a specific focus of this year’s competition and Made in Scotland, which demonstrated particularly strong international ambitions to be delivered via the collaboration, was awarded the accolade at last night’s HSBC Scottish Export Awards, held in Glasgow. 

Sarah Deas, director, Scottish Enterprise, added:  “The response to this year’s Collaboration Prize has been fantastic and as a result we have six brilliant winning consortia, all of whom will be using the support and funding they won to structure their consortiums, develop their business ideas and access new markets. 

“Through the Prize the aim is to inspire businesses to be innovative and consider collaboration as a means to achieve growth.  By collaborating businesses can reduce costs, share risks and create new platforms for growth.” 

The Collaboration Prize was delivered by Co-operative Development Scotland on behalf of Scottish Enterprise and HIE in partnership with Business Gateway and the Scottish Chambers of Commerce.

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