History in the making

Year of History Heritage and Archaeology faces













Ian Walker of Borders Journeys approached Interface to help him find the right academic expertise from Scotland’s 23 Higher Education Institutions.

Partnering with academics at Queen Margaret University helped him make an important strategic decision about the future direction of his company.

This year, to celebrate the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, Ian features in one of VisitScotland’s 90 second mini-documentaries.

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All aboard the Interface sleigh, Santa is on his way!
















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By Siobhán Jordan, Director of Interface

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all was quiet, Santa and his elves boarded the Interface sleigh. Piled high with presents to bring good cheer, Christmas comes but once a year! Continue reading

University-business collaboration in Scotland: progress update

puzzle-pixabayinga-sileryte-ncub-tmitchellThe National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) is an independent, not-for-profit membership organisation that promotes, develops and supports university-business collaboration across the UK.

Following publication of the 2016 Collaboration Progress Monitor, we invited Inga Sileryte, Research Officer at the NCUB, to look at how Scottish universities are faring with business engagement across the UK. Continue reading

Tourism benefits from Fiona’s dedication



By Fiona Hutchison, Sector Engagement Executive – Tourism, Interface

Fiona Hutchison joined Interface in September as Sector Engagement Executive for Tourism to encourage multi-party groups to collaborate with academic expertise. Here, we found out a bit more about Fiona and what she has been doing so far. Continue reading

From R&B to R&D


warren-baderFormer music video producer Warren Bader set up Plan Bee, a beehive management service which also produces honey and other hive products, to help reverse the decline in the bee population. He gave an inspirational talk at the 2016 Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards about his journey collaborating with academics, which started with Interface. Continue reading

Open innovation: open for business and gaining momentum

jillian-moffatBy Jillian Moffat, Head of Open Innovation, Scottish Enterprise

What does ‘open innovation’ mean, exactly?

Henry Chesbrough, a professor at the Haas Business School, UC Berkeley, defines it as: “the use of purposive inflows and outflows of knowledge to accelerate internal innovation, and expand the markets for external use of innovation, respectively.” Continue reading

Ideas and inspiration from business collaborations

Ian at Scott's View


This month’s blog with an academic who has worked in partnership with business is by Dr Claire Seaman, Reader in Enterprise & Family Business at Queen Margaret University.

What inspired you to become an academic?

My masters research was collaborative, looking at the ways in which beef is produced and the impact of the production system on food quality – a debate that is still going on to this day, I might add! The research was collaborative between two universities and indeed farms run by families. Later, working with SMEs in the food industry, the family dimension became both important and very apparent and inspired both my research and knowledge exchange work with family businesses across Scotland. The idea that expertise from different academic disciplines and the business world could be combined to address real world challenges was something that interested me a great deal and prompted my decision to join a business school where multi-disciplinary activity is very much part of the regular job. Continue reading

Timely reminder for #ScotKEAwards

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By Siobhán Jordan, Director of Interface

It has been interesting to watch the evolution of simple format TV programme “Masterchef” into the series of themes in the past few years with the screening of “Celebrity Masterchef” and “Masterchef Professionals”. But the original and the best “Masterchef” remains my favourite as I never fail to be amazed at the calibre of the dishes that can be produced. The catchphrase of “You have five minutes” has also proven useful for me in many situations to make sure deadlines are hit as the clock ticks relentlessly. Continue reading

Partnering with academics works

Heriot Watt Univeristy Soltropy Test Site Scotland

Stuart Speake profile picture

By Stuart Speake, Managing Director, Soltropy Ltd

Solar thermal business Soltropy and Heriot-Watt University won the Sustained Partnership Award at the 2016 Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards. The partnership, which started in 2013, has led to the development of a mass produced, easy to handle, modular solar thermal panel aimed at the UK and European markets.

Here, Soltropy founder Stuart Speake describes the journey from little acorns to mighty oaks. Continue reading