United Kingdom


Margaret Davidson


234,110 (2015)

Innovation Website
Lead Innovation Officer

John Robertson

Innovation is helping to:
  • Improve internal government operations

  • Save costs and improve efficiency within the public sector

  • Improve service delivery

  • Improve resident outcomes

  • Simplify administrative procedures for firms and residents

  • Generate new sources of revenue

  • Serve current obligations

Critical success factors:
  • Focus on measurement

  • Leadership from Mayor

  • Culture of innovation in city

  • Engagement with partners

Spotlight on innovation in Highland

Note: The City Innovation Snapshot (PDF version) was produced in 2019 and some aggregate findings have been updated with the latest survey results below.

Vision and approach to innovation capacity

Along with 50% of cities surveyed, Highland does not have an explicit innovation strategy. Similar to 24% of cities surveyed, Highland approaches innovation capacity in specific policy areas/domains.

Policy areas that Highland is focused on

Digital governance
Policy areas by number of cities

Highland utilizes 6 different innovation skills or roles

Project manager
Communication officer
Community engagement staff
Corporate improvement staff
Innovation roles by number of cities

Highland’s innovation work is sprinkled throughout the municipality and 8 staff members are working on it.

Terms Highland most associates with innovation

Technological innovation

Highland's most common innovation activities

Taking risks and testing new ideas
e.g. prototyping new programs or models to address a persistent city challenge
Engaging residents in new ways
Developing new solutions based on digital technologies
e.g. use of drones or smart sensors
Facilitating organizational change within the municipality
e.g. silo-busting; new internal performance management; staff training and capacity building on innovation tools or techniques; reforms to contracting or procurement
  1. 1

    Taking risks or testing new ideas

  2. 2

    Data-driven analytics/public data management

  3. 3

    Engaging residents in new ways

  4. 4

    Developing new solutions based on digital technologies

  5. 5

    Organizational change within the municipality

  6. 6

    Human-centered design

  7. 7

    Rethinking your city’s approach to financing partnerships

How is innovation funded here?

Like 19% of cities surveyed, Highland does not have dedicated funding to support innovation capacity.

Top sources of funding

Highland has no reported sources of funding.

Activities being funded

Highland does not fund any specific activities.

47 cities
Launching or sustaining a project
79 cities
Idea generation & brainstorming
51 cities
Investing in digital systems
36 cities
Investing in physical infrastructure
30 cities
Paying for services

How is innovation measured?

Highland has developed partnerships to promote its innovation capacity with other public agencies, private firms, not-for-profit organizations, and city residents/resident associations.

To improve data use, the city has also developed data partnerships with academia and think tanks to collect and analyze data, as well as with other cities.

Data availability by policy area


Sufficient data


Housing and built environment




Digital governance

Insufficient data

Economic Development


Social inclusion and equity

No Response

Policing and law enforcement

Waste and sewage

Labour market and skills

Environment and climate change

Public works