By Heather Allan, Research Funding Officer

On Tuesday 22nd November, the Research and Enterprise Office welcomed representatives of Interface to the University.  Interface were established in 2005 and are a central hub connecting organisations to Scotland’s higher education and research institutes and work to promote innovative business through academic collaborations. They translate the needs of companies of all sizes and from all sectors into manageable projects for Scottish Universities and Research Institutions whether it involves knowledge exchange, business and product development, process or service improvement, or analysis and testing.

The Interface Business Engagement team are spread across Scotland and work with businesses to understand their organisation, development ideas and goals.  Together they identify where the company might benefit from academic expertise in developing their business and summarise this in an Interface Enquiry Form.  Interface are partnered with Scotland’s 23 higher education and research institutes and using their extensive knowledge of expertise within these partner institutes they send out the enquiry form to the relevant institutional Interface co-ordinators to take facilitate the matching up of academic expertise.

interface-fishWe have had some extremely high profile success stories coming out of this partnership including an exciting Interface-administered Scottish Funding Council Innovation Voucher project led by Rachel Norman, Chair of Aquatic Food Security at the University in conjunction with a company called Fishbox.  Read the full blog post here.

This is an excellent opportunity to work with Scottish businesses to solve real live problems facing local businesses and translate our expertise into practice.  I am the Interface co-ordinator within the University of Stirling and I work closely with the Research Development Managers and Funding Officers to disseminate the Interface enquiry forms to our academic community.  Therefore you may from time to time see Interface opportunities coming your way and if you see anything which might be of interest then please just reply to us with a short biography highlighting any relevant expertise.  Equally, if you are wanting to engage and haven’t done so in the past then please just get in touch with me and we can have a chat.

interface-peopleWe are going to be hosting a visit from the very friendly Interface team in 2017 to discuss what they do in more detail so please watch this space for further information on this.

In the meantime they have a wealth of case studies on their webpages you can view and they also have a very active blog which you can follow.

If you have any questions about engaging with Interface then just get in touch with me.