Strong coffee and friendly advice support Aberdeenshire businesses

Two people in a cafe talking
20th April 2018

Gary Hogan, joined Interface as a Business Engagement Executive for Aberdeenshire from Robert Gordon University in March, while Gillian Hambley is on maternity leave.

We took the opportunity to ask Gary what a typical day looks like, among other things.

When did you start at Interface and what’s your background?

I started at interface on the 19th March having been at Robert Gordon University for the past 5 years within the Commercial Operations Support Team. My background’s in Oil and Gas Law. Since graduating I’ve been working as a commercial officer within RGU providing support with all commercial opportunities at local through to international level.

What attracted you to the position?

Business engagement – being able to support SMEs in a variety of sectors to explore and develop their products/services through academic collaboration.

What does your role incorporate?

My main role consists of matching businesses with academia as well as helping with funding options. Where a business has identified a specific issue or where they are looking to reach new markets my role is to meet with them, identify a scope of work and link the business with our academic community to drive growth.

What does a typical day look like?

Typically it starts with a good strong coffee and catching up with emails and enquiries that come in. From there I’m usually working on on-going opportunities, issuing these to universities and research institutes and connecting with the business community advising as to how Interface can support them.

What do you like most about the role?

The variety. Working with SMEs across a variety of sectors allows me to get a real feel as to what’s going on throughout Scotland and opportunities that exist for business and academia to collaborate. We’ve got a wealth of knowledge and some great resources out there to support business, being able to support them and enable growth is what I enjoy the most.

What advice would you give businesses which want to collaborate with academic expertise?

Go for it! The academic community has a wealth of knowledge that it can share with business and some specialist equipment at its disposal.

What three words sum you up?

Friendly, approachable and reliable