Looking back to look forward

18th February 2022
Written by: Dr. Siobhán Jordan, Interface

Key moments in life always provide a good opportunity to stand still, look back to look forward. 

It is almost 17 years since I was appointed founding Director of what was then known as the “Scottish Higher Education business portal”, a blank sheet of paper to establish a mechanism to enable companies and universities to collaborate in Scotland. 

With three years of funding from Scottish Funding Council matched by European funds from Innovative Actions Programme the key mission (or in my words, experiments, as ever the scientist), I set out to achieve was companies would want to engage and business-academic collaborations would deliver economic and societal benefit for all.

It is with pride and satisfaction I can now reflect on how the blank sheet of paper has evolved to Interface, an exemplar programme known throughout Scotland and further afield. The impacts from the R&D collaborations we have enabled, which almost number 3,000, are far-reaching and have brought interest and recognition from around the world. 

There are so many faces that have supported Interface since inception; from committed funders to dedicated academics from entrepreneurs to well established companies. The exemplar team members both past and present have travelled so many roads – no mission has been impossible. 

In heading off to pastures new there are so many “thank yous” to make, so many fond memories, many humbling moments and a myriad of ripple effects that are generating seismic impacts locally, nationally, and globally.   

And how better to encapsulate the journey from inception to mainstreamed funding than outline the core principles that have stood me in good stead down through the years.

Inspiring the art of the possible for companies and organisations locally, regionally and globally

Networking to generate powerful partnerships

Translating challenges into opportunities to deliver innovation

Enabling and inclusive to all with a focus on exceptional and ethical customer service

Results delivered by a high performing team impartially and with integrity

Futuristic and visionary in an ever-changing world

Ambitious and ambassadorial for world leading researchers to unlock knowledge, talent and technologies from Scotland’s colleges and universities.

Collaborations delivering outcomes, impacts and informing policy and practice for our committed funders and stakeholders

Enjoyment and satisfaction of having made a genuine difference to people, prosperity, and the planet

The future is bright so let the next chapter begin!  

Dr. Siobhán Jordan – please do connect on LinkedIn if you’d like to follow the next chapter.