IGS (Intelligent Growth Solutions)

Developing a Pipeline of Quality Talent: IGS' Story Hosting Saltire Scholars

Former CEO, David Farquhar and Donald Mackenzie, Head of HR at Intelligent Growth Solutions shares how partnering with the Saltire Scholar Programme is a way to gain fresh perspectives, new solutions to business challenges and the creation of a new talent pipeline.

About Intelligent Growth Solutions

Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) was founded in 2013, to develop revolutionary solutions in the global agri-tech and commercial lighting markets. An innovative business with over 200 employees, IGS makes platforms that deliver intelligent indoor climates and conditions for life, people and plants.


As a rapidly growing business in the world of agricultural technology, IGS recognised the importance of bringing in fresh talent to support innovation and growth.

Former CEO David Farquhar saw the Saltire Scholar Programme as an ideal solution for strategic talent development within the company. He was particularly impressed by the exceptional calibre of talent, fresh perspectives, and entrepreneurial mindset that interns on the programme offered, all of which could help propel growth in multiple areas of the business.

Not only was the process straightforward, we also were pleasantly surprised with the ease at which the interns became part of the business. The quality of the interns was very good. Saltire Scholars have a managerial, entrepreneurial approach, they have a broader commercial view of things. They were motivated, self-starters and were able to get on with the tasks and projects set without too much hand-holding from our existing team which was of real benefit.

David Farquhar
Former CEO, Intelligent Growth Solutions


Since partnering with the programme in 2020, IGS has hosted an impressive 46 Saltire Scholars. IGS has used their interns to drive growth and change in a number of areas of the business, including marketing & communications, sales & business development, research & analysis, UX/UI design, customer experience, supply chain, finance, sustainability, product development and software engineering.

IGS leverages our programme to attract and retain top talent. They consistently hire interns both part-time and full-time across various departments.


The rewards for IGS in taking on a group of interns from Entrepreneurial Scotland included cost and time savings, added value, and importantly allowing the business to build on new ideas and accelerate several projects. They were able to explore new areas and new technology that they otherwise would not have had the capacity, or ability to explore. Head of HR, Donald Mackenzie explains:

“The Saltire programme equips interns with quite a different mindset – the interns we worked with brought a fresh pair of eyes to the projects they were tasked with. They could draw on influences and research that perhaps our existing employees do not have access to. They were able to look at challenges and problems and bring current thinking, best practice, and an academic approach to finding solutions, which proved of huge benefit to IGS.”

Not only was IGS grateful for the opportunity to progress projects and initiatives, they also saw the partnership as a chance to create opportunities for people.

“What is great about the opportunity to work with Entrepreneurial Scotland in this way, is that it is genuinely mutually beneficial. We were able to give something back by offering great roles and opportunities for talented, good people. In return, we benefited from their aptitude, connections and ideas and were able to drive projects and initiatives we may not otherwise have moved forward in the same way, if at all.”

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