This event will showcase the value of partnering with the University of Aberdeen to support innovation. It will raise awareness of the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme, which offers companies funded opportunities to collaborate with the University to achieve their business ambitions. Featuring case studies from successful projects where academia and industry have worked together to solve challenges, the event will include presentations, a networking session, and opportunities to further explore research expertise.
Entergaia Technologies located in Aberdeen, Scotland is a holding company for value creating entities in the areas of energy technology and AI and Analytical software development. Entergaia Technologies aims to push the boundaries of innovation and technology.
Formed in 2018, Entergaia Technologies were looking to develop a long-range wireless power transfer (WPT) solution that would result in the creation of a new portfolio focusing on long range wireless power transfer.
Wireless power transfer (WPT), wireless power transmission, wireless energy transmission (WET), or electromagnetic power transfer is the transmission of electrical energy without wires as a physical link. The technology of wireless power transmission can eliminate the use of the wires and batteries, thus increasing the mobility, convenience, and safety of an electronic device for all users. Wireless power transfer is useful to power electrical devices where interconnecting wires are inconvenient, hazardous, or are not possible.
The manufacturing process of electrical wire, steel and batteries emit enormous greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Entergaia Technologies wanted to develop a Wireless Power Transfer System (WPT) that demonstrated the long-range transmission of electrical power which could gradually reduce the use of steel wires and reduce the number of batteries used in storing electricity, which would in turn, reduce greenhouse emission and improve environmental sustainability. There was evidence to suggest that Entergaia’s WPT model worked but only over short distances.
Entergaia Technologies required assistance from an academic institution to investigate potentially three projects. Initially a proof of concept to look at the notion of beaming electricity from the point of production to the point of utilisation without electrical cables or batteries, followed by testing of such a model and then the development of a demonstrator.
Entergaia Technologies with assistance from Dr Peng Li of the University of Aberdeen aimed to develop a Wireless Power Transfer System (WPT) that demonstrated the long-range transmission of electrical power. The solution would gradually reduce the use of steel wires and reduce the number of batteries used in storing electricity, which would in turn, reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere through the production of steel cables and batteries.
During the initial phase, the application focussed on the possibility of a long-range wireless-powered electric vehicle charging system that was beyond any current near field deployments in existence. Subsequently simulations showed that long range transfer of electrical power is possible.
The work also established the possibility of electromagnetic beam tracking and directioning – which means tracking the transmitted electrical energy in motion. The beam technology would help in future developments of a wireless power charging solution that is mobile and semi-autonomous, enabling charging of electric vehicles in motion or beaming electrical energy from space, where there are no energy losses due to positional changes.
This phase also identified areas of the components analysed that require significant improvement and showed the possibility to combine some technologies to help future prototyping and product development. The understanding derived from this work would be beneficial for Entergaia’s future strategy in deploying associated products such as beaming electricity from space, wireless electricity deployment during emergencies, beaming wireless electricity to charge robots, IOT devices and remote vehicles (ROVs).
The result from the initial collaboration with the University of Aberdeen showed that although it was possible to develop a Wireless Power Transfer System (WPT) that demonstrated the long-range transmission of electrical power there was the need to increase power efficiency received at the receiving end that would eventually charge the battery. Entergaia Technologies’ focus then turned to optimising the receiving end that charges the battery – a rectenna, to enable effective conversion of the microwave radiation received, to electrical energy, and loading the charge effectively onto the battery or other alternative storage.
Entergaia Technologies secured an Advanced Innovation Voucher through Interface and partnered with Edinburgh Napier University who are producing an optimised prototype that improves power efficiency.
- Initial proof of concept established that it was possible to develop a Wireless Power Transfer System (WPT) that demonstrated the long-range transmission of electrical power. Leading to a reduction in the use of steel wires and the number of batteries used in storing electricity, which would in turn, reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere through the production of steel cables and batteries.
- The initial collaboration helped Entergaia embark on further product development work with Edinburgh Napier University focussing on optimising both the transmitter and the rectenna (receiver end) to enable effective conversion of the microwave radiation received, to electrical energy, and loading the charge effectively onto the battery or other alternative storage.
- The findings are helping inform Entergaia’s future strategy in deploying associated products such as wireless electric vehicle charging, beaming electricity from space, wireless electricity deployment during emergencies, beaming wireless electricity to charge robots, IOT devices and remote vehicles (ROVs).
Established in Inverness in 2004 by Carole MacKintosh, Highland Counselling Services Ltd, trading as Scottish Counselling Services, has grown from a small local service provider into a market leading organisation covering the Scottish mainland and islands with adults, children and young people as their client groups. Scottish Counselling Services provides a confidential counselling service to both the private and public sector for a wide range of life-affecting issues.
Looking to the future sustainability of the business, the lack of suitable software that could handle the varying requirements of the business had reached a critical point. Although Scottish Counselling Services had undertaken their own research, they had been unable to identify a software package that could meet the needs of their individual team members. Scottish Counselling Services (SCS) wanted to work in collaboration with an academic with Computing Science expertise to develop a system which would more accurately meet their needs.
Interface was able to successfully match SCS with Dr Bruce Scharlau of the University of Aberdeen’s School of Computing Science. Dr Scharlau had founded ‘The Software Factory’, an initiative created specifically for industry to realise their ambitions through work with the University to deliver software solutions.
Scottish Counselling Services worked with Dr Scharlau to develop a new system which would enable business growth whilst taking account of secure data storage of records, and efficient work-flow processes. No such system previously existed, so the project output was instrumental in enabling the business to move forward, refining its service offering, thereby securing future sustainability.
The project was funded by a Scottish Funding Council (SFC) Standard Innovation Voucher.
The new online system moved the staff from working with paper forms, a telephone, and managing staff and appointments via a spreadsheet to an online prototype, saving a day per week in admin work. This was all set up within the web application with encrypted records and minimal risks to privacy. The system has proven invaluable to the company.
We are now using our software and I am really enjoying having a focused system that we are all connected to. I am constantly delighted with the feedback from our team and how easy they all seem to be finding it. It has been such a good project for us all. Carole MacKintosh, Managing Director
After such a successful initial collaboration, Scottish Counselling Services and the University of Aberdeen continued their collaboration with work to further develop and advance the software in preparation for commercialisation; enabling it to be offered under a subscription service that could be offered to other counselling providers, introducing a new income stream for the organisation. This application will also enable SCS to improve efficiencies within the business, and thus spend more time on business development, generating additional income in a cost-efficient manner.
This work was part funded by an SFC Advanced Innovation Voucher.
This has been an amazing and challenging project but one that I am really proud to have been a part of. I feel excited about future developments and opportunities that I know will evolve because of what has been produced. Carole MacKintosh, Managing Director
Building on the previous collaborations, an internship was then created to consolidate the ‘lite offering’ of a Session On Demand platform designed to aid secondary and primary schools in Scotland in offering counselling to all of their pupils. This project used the same student from the University of Aberdeen who was involved in the initial collaboration and was funded by an SFC Student Placement Innovation Voucher.
My experience of the project has been extremely positive. The prospect of being part of a team developing a web application from the beginning felt daunting, however the team were supportive and patient throughout. I felt out of my comfort zone many times as I was working in an area that I had no previous experience in, however, we managed to work out what was needed by organically processing and checking out what worked, what didn’t work and what need amending. It came together from actively listening to each other but mostly from the expertise and guidance of the development team. This was an experience I enjoyed and feel that what we have achieved will have a positive impact on our service users and organisations.
The additional commercial benefits include being able to demonstrate our innovation and credibility as an organisation to potential clients. This I feel has opened many doors and also created many more opportunities. It has also helped expand my own thinking on how to create additional opportunities. Carole MacKintosh, Managing Director
Scottish Counselling Services also worked with both the University of Edinburgh Business School and the University of Strathclyde on various student-based projects to aid in the growth and development of their business.
Dr Werner Kissling was a German aristocrat who was born into great wealth but ended up living as a tenant of a bedsit in Dumfries. He left the German diplomatic service whilst posted to London in 1931, unwilling to work for a Nazi government. Instead, he pursued academic research in the UK even after anti-Hitler activities cost his family their fortune.
Dr Kissling was a distinguished ethnologist, particularly taking photographs in the Western Isles of Scotland. He made the first ever film to use spoken Gaelic and is regarded as one of the great photographers of the Western Isles.
Dumfries Museum houses an extensive collection of photographs taken by Dr Kissling between 1935 and the 1970s. Many show images of crafts people and agricultural workers from New Zealand to the Western Isles of Scotland at work, some practising crafts which have since died out.
In 2018, a suitcase of Dr Kissling’s personal possessions was donated to the museum. A great deal of work had been done already in terms of sorting, copying and documenting the contents of this suitcase, but further work was required to archive, digitise and catalogue them.
This inspired the Dr Werner Kissling Project 2019, a project to document the newly acquired collections and collect reminiscences from people who remembered Dr Kissling.
Mari Findlay, from Interface, put Siobhán Ratchford, curator at Dumfries Museum, in touch with the Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities (SGSAH) Internship/Artist Residency programme, where PhD student Kirsty Kernohan expressed an interest in the project.
Kirsty, who was studying anthropology at University of Aberdeen, created over 500 new catalogue records for the museum’s collection and developed a record identifying Kissling collections in other institutions, available for future research by public and experts. She also compiled three online information pages including around 120 digitised photographs for Future Museum, a resource showcasing the collections of museums in Ayrshire and Dumfries & Galloway. Kirsty’s work on Futuremuseum.co.uk can be viewed here.
Company – A Scottish museum’s internationally significant collection of photographs has been expanded and preserved for future generations, thanks to Interface’s connections. The staff at the museum were delighted to see Dr Kissling’s collection finally honoured and become more accessible to the public.
Academic – The Dr Werner Kissling Project 2019 gave the PhD student the chance to take on a multi-faceted project in a museum context, allowing her to put into practice skills she had gained volunteering in other museums and through her PhD research. Previous experience on anthropological fieldwork allowed her to conduct ethical interviews and add to the museum’s records, and research experience allowed her to collate information about Dr Kissling, enhancing the museum’s collection.
Kirsty won the Truckell Prize 2020 for her research paper into Dr Kissling, awarded by the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society.
“Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.” Dr James Levine, Director of the Mayo Clinic, Arizona State University
Each year, significant numbers of workers suffer ill health as a result of poor ergonomics and unhealthy lifestyles at work. This has an impact on quality of life and results in tens of millions of lost sick days. With awareness growing of the adverse effects of sedentary, desk-bound, computer-centric work lifestyles, Welbot was founded in Edinburgh in 2017 with a primary goal of helping people take control of their wellbeing in the workplace by instigating positive behavioural modification through the use of smart, appropriate technologies.
The Welbot team comprises of Mykay Kamara (CEO), Sam Deere (CTO) and Pete Burns (CDO) who are a close-knit group of commercial, technology and marketing minds working alongside Creative Directors Ian Greenhill and Jordan Laird, with the business being chaired by Ian Smith ex-MD of Oracle UK.
Welbot is a cross-platform, digital intervention and productivity platform, tailored to each user, that helps employees stay physically and mentally well in the workplace by learning and adapting to the actions that they take. The wellness management software encourages activities such as stretching, screen breaks, nutrition, mindfulness, hydration, micro exercises and simple, rewarding brain training games and is designed and engineered for both individual and large-scale enterprise use.
The company initially wanted to collaborate with a university to understand how they could extract knowledge and insights from data and machine learning, especially around autonomous, self-teaching systems that can analyse data and provide insights to human behaviour. The aim of this project was to 1. investigate the use of predictive models of user response to screen-based notifications and prompts and 2. provide a path for future enhancement of the underlying Welbot AI framework.
Interface connected the team with the Department of Computing and Information Science at the University of Strathclyde, where they were successfully awarded a Scottish Funding Council Innovation Voucher to address the company’s challenge and to develop a proof of concept prototype to incorporate the findings into the application roadmap.
In addition, Interface saw the opportunity to provide additional support to the company by partnering them with marketing and business students at both the University of Strathclyde and the University of Edinburgh. Interface drew up a project outline and introduced the team to the academic supervisors at both universities. The projects were approved and the company now has a student team from Marketing at the University of Strathclyde researching, analysing and making recommendations to support their business strategy around corporate wellbeing programmes in the UK, as well as an Msc student from the University of Edinburgh, doing a company sponsored dissertation on evaluating the uptake and Return On Investment of wellbeing programmes.
Offering further support to the company, Interface issued another search across the universities to support their requirement of cross-disciplinary academic expertise in exercise physiology and computer science. They were ultimately partnered again with the University of Strathclyde who had the best fit to continue the project. Strathclyde were successfully awarded a Follow-On Innovation Voucher and they have drawn upon academic expertise from both the School of Psychological Sciences and Health (PSH) and Computer and Information Sciences (CIS). This project will address analytics of user behavioural data and the psychological effects of prolonged sedentary behaviour on the body.
Welbot are also working with experts in behavioural sciences within the University of Strathclyde, University of Edinburgh and University of Aberdeen to look at psychological and behavioural sciences with a focus on occupational stress, behaviours relating to wellbeing in the workplace, and responses to stimuli to change behaviour in a technology setting.
These collaborations have all been achieved within just an eight-month time frame.
Interface has a strong track record of successfully matching businesses to academics with an overall aim of enabling companies to be more competitive in national or global markets. Innovation can lead to transformation within an industry sector, not only for individual businesses but also for groups of businesses working together to address common challenges.
Many economic reviews, testimonies and new and existing interactions demonstrated that facilitating opportunities for academics to work with groups of companies is an effective way of increasing the impact and reach of innovation on the Scottish economy.
The Resource Efficiency Industry Advisory Group for Food & Drink (REIAG) was set up in 2012 as a result of a partnership between Interface Food & Drink, Zero Waste Scotland and the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) Scotland. The aim was to raise awareness and promote opportunities related to environmental sustainability and to stimulate innovation in the food and drink industry.
The membership comprises of 25 prominent Scottish food manufacturers of all sizes and food types, from bakers to brewers and fish processors to fruit growers. The group has a flexible structure where members attend meetings and participate in collaborative projects with academic partners depending on the theme and its relevance to their own business challenges.
The Scottish Government’s new Circular Economy Strategy has set ambitious goals such as the new food waste reduction target. There is a need to change the way things are currently done from developing new processes to changing the culture of the workforce, so innovation is key in meeting these targets. Measures to reduce and reuse energy and waste support companies to improve efficiencies in a sector where in general, prices are remaining competitive but costs are rising. The sector has become increasingly competitive but can’t just rely on developing new products and markets to flourish and achieve the ambitious target of £30bn in revenue for the Scottish food and drink industry by 2030.
The aim of the REIAG is to drive activities which will improve the environmental sustainability of the businesses and the wider industry. This is achieved through delivering innovation projects with academia, learning journeys and by providing a forum for direct interaction between businesses and experts to share best practices in issues such as waste, water and energy efficiency. Companies with a common purpose are encouraged to collaborate around innovation and can gain easy access to academic and business expertise in a nurturing and supportive environment.
A selection of impactful projects are listed below which have de-risked early stage concepts, providing independent evidence of new ways to enhance the sustainability of the Scottish Food and Drink Industry.
Bacterial removal from recycled water – Shellfish Processors
This project was led by the Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group who collaborated with the University of Edinburgh and the James Hutton Institute to carry out research into the effectiveness of UV lighting to kill bacteria in the wash process and by doing so to increase the number of times the water can be recycled. This has led to a further project using UV and filtration techniques to further enhance the water treatment system.
This feasibility project was carried out with one of the large companies in the group and Edinburgh Napier University to recycle heat required in the drying process. By deploying the outputs of the project in house, savings of £600,000 a year are forecasted. In addition, the results were disseminated to the other members of the group to explore the viability and application for their own business.
Bio-treatability of food industry effluents
This project was a collaboration with the University of Aberdeen on bio-treatability of waste effluent with six of the companies providing quantitative data and a deeper understanding of what their waste could generate in value whether through anaerobic digestion or other processes. This led to the Scottish Salmon Company winning an Interface Food & Drink competition to undertake more in-depth work with the University assessing viability and return on investment for converting their waste effluent into energy and by-products. The company now have the data to make a commercial decision on investing and integrating the processes across their Scottish operations, which has saved them considerable resource, both staff and financial.
By working together, groups of companies can share best practice, partner on projects of scale with a broad range of academics and industry experts and access funding that encourages new ways of collaborating.
Les McArthur, Operations Director at Dean’s of Huntly commented:
The group provides an excellent platform to work together, sharing knowledge and experiences which, along with technical expertise brought in by the organisers, allows us to develop and implement new sustainability measures in our businesses and saves us time and money. These measures range from high to very low cost so there is something for every type of business. The merit of being able to meet with your peers is also invaluable as we can discuss and collectively solve issues. Many of the topics covered can then be supported by onsite surveys meaning that only some time needs to be invested to establish if a particular topic can save your business money whilst also becoming more sustainable.
The benefits for academia gained are also significant, including establishing new areas for research and knowledge exchange, collaboration with other academics across other disciplines and institutions and greater visibility of academia to industry.
Professor John Currie, Director of the Scottish Energy Centre at Edinburgh Napier University added:
“Edinburgh Napier University and the Scottish Energy Centre have benefited enormously from our involvement in groups such as the Resource Efficiency Industry Advisory Group and the Scottish Craft Distillers Association. Through Interface, they have provided us with the opportunity to work in collaboration with a variety of companies and bring academic thinking to real-life industry challenges.”
Dunnet Bay Distillers is a microdistillery located in Dunnet Bay on the coastline of the North Sea. They produce award-winning Rock Rose Gin and Holy Grass Vodka.
The aim of this distillery is to develop a range of distilled products with a focus on locally sourced raw materials.
These include locally grown Rhodiola rosea, rowan berries, and seaweed harvested from the nearby coastline.
In 2013, Martin Murray, company director and, at the time, an MSc student in the International Centre for Brewing and Distilling programme at Heriot-Watt University, contacted Dr Annie Hill at the University looking to generate recipe and process methodology for both a seaweed vodka and seaweed gin.
After contacting Interface, the distillery was awarded a Scottish Funding Council Innovation Voucher, administered by Interface, to cover the costs of their collaboration with Heriot-Watt University.
Research work within this project led to the creation of a wide range of novel distilled spirits. The seaweed sample from the shore by the distillery was found to contain three types of seaweed rather than a single type leading to an increase in the number of distillations performed. Products included vodka distilled using a mixed range of seaweed types and using two different methods of distillation, three vodkas distilled with individual types of seaweed, and nine gins distilled with a variation in the botanicals used. Preference testing was carried out for the gins created including taste panel testing of seaweed gin with a range of commonly used mixers to determine the commercial potential of the products.
Martin and his wife Claire have always been keen to make their distillery as green and carbon neutral as possible. With their production growing steadily, the waste generated also increased in tandem. After such a successful project with Heriot-Watt University, the couple sought the assistance of Interface to source additional academic expertise to determine new ways of efficiently reducing and dealing with their waste.
Interface matched them with the University of Aberdeen who have since undertaken an initial review of Dunnet Bay Distillers’ berry waste and plan to take this project further to repurpose the waste for other uses.
Another area that generates considerable waste is the plastic packaging which covers the distiller’s iconic ceramic bottles during their long journey to Dunnet. Martin worked with the University of Strathclyde and a student group to determine alternative uses for this packaging so that it does not end up in landfill. The project is now complete and Martin is looking at implementing the suggested solution on site.
Another challenge Dunnet Bay Distillers faced as production increased was the ability to know if the water tank for distilling was near empty. Martin’s very basic method of hitting it with his hand to determine how full it was needed an upgrade but he simply did not have the time to research and implement any new technology. Through working with Shaie MacDonald at Interface, a student from UHI North Highland College was recruited to develop a customised gauge for them. The project has now been completed and the solution implemented and incorporated into a bigger piece of work by a consultant.
On seeking academic help within your business, never think a project is too small. The expertise out there is vast and until you work with an intermediary such as Interface, it is very difficult and time consuming to find a potential match. Interface can help you define your project clearly and take a lot of the time burden away so that you can get the right expert help when you need it, said Martin Murray, Director, Dunnet Bay Distillers.
Please note that Interface administers the Innovation Voucher Scheme on behalf of the Scottish Funding Council. All funding applications are reviewed on a case by case basis by the Scottish Funding Council, guidelines can be found here.
Scotmas is a leading manufacturer of water treatment, hygiene and environmental care products. Best known for its extensive range of chlorine dioxide systems, developed with over 25 years experience in the market, it is now actively involved in developing microbial biotechnology, insect repellents, insecticidal textiles and consumer product ingredients.
With a strong and continued commitment to R&D, Scotmas is always on the look-out for strategic investment opportunities with other companies and projects which can provide experience and capabilities that will add value to its offering.
The Business Challenge
An introduction to Interface – The knowledge connection for business, presented an opportunity to advance two research projects, one looking at bacteria identification and another on bacteria and virus tests. Following an extensive search of expertise in the field, Interface helped the company to develop active partnerships with several academic institutions.
The company produces microbe-based products used for a variety of applications in waste water treatment and land remediation, but wanted to expand this into a range of domestic cleaners and products for specific industrial contamination.
Following discussions with the University of Aberdeen, it was learnt that spin out company NCIMB was undertaking the characterisation of the bacteria strains on a routine basis.
Scotmas was looking for help to investigate the effectiveness of one of its products for a client. Interface facilitated a project with Glasgow Caledonian University’s Dr Chris Woodall, from the School of Life Sciences, offering specialist testing services for bacteriological and viral testing. The project resulted in a continued relationship and subsequent testing work.
Following the success of the initial project, Scotmas embarked on a number of new collaborative projects, including corrosion studies and a project on microencapsulation and was in active discussions with other academic groups including Scottish Crop Research Institute and the University of Glasgow.
- The company advanced two research projects with the help of university expertise
- The company accessed specialist testing facilities to validate the effectiveness of one of its products.
- The collaboration has resulted in a continued and sustained partnership between the company and Glasgow Caledonian University.
- The success of the project initiated new collaborative projects with other academic groups
Alistair Cameron, Technical Director at Scotmas commented:
“We were looking to strengthen our range of microbe-based products in a variety of domestic cleaners and products for tackling specific industrial contamination. Interface linked us to academic partners who helped in the commercial culturing of these microbes, in order to supply a powdered product to Scotmas’s commercial operations.”
Scotmas went on to collaborate with the engineering department at Heriot Watt University, an academic team that were included in the University’s research submission to REF 2014* (Research Excellence Framework), 94% of which was judged as “world-leading” or internationally excellent.
In November 2016 Scotmas announced that they are sending new self-sustaining technology to Botswana to bring properly treated water supplies to some of its most remote areas.The Bravo Hydro system runs without grid electricity or solar power, using a tiny generator in the water pipe. Scotmas said the technology could bring reliably disinfected water to areas where it had not been possible before.It is being sent to 40 villages in Botswana thanks to a major investment by the country’s government.
Scotmas undertook around ten collaborative projects with academia since the original project facilitated by Interface including two Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) with Heriot-Watt University. The family business employs 42 people and provides chlorine dioxide water solutions around the world – including in Doha for the Qatar World Cup 2022 and in villages in southern India.
In 2020 Interface linked Scotmas to Robert Gordon University to support the development of a new and innovative method of producing disinfectants without harmful by-products for use in hospitals, water supplies and food production applications. The project was funded through an Advanced Innovation Voucher and won Innovation of the Year at The Scottsh Knowledge Exchange Awards 2021.
*The REF is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.
Headquartered in Glenbervie near Stonehaven, Scotland, Macphie is the UK’s leading, independent, added-value food ingredients manufacturer, and has been producing premium quality food ingredients and solutions for customers across 40 countries for over 85 years.
The company approached Interface to seek help in finding relevant academic collaborators to provide solutions to a range of challenges facing their business. These ranged from reducing saturated fat content and creating “cleaner label” products to rethinking their packaging and storage.
Interface has facilitated a series of collaborative projects with numerous Scottish Universities to support the business challenges.
Project areas have included:
- Use of Ultrasound in thermal processing to control food structure
- Mechanical Engineering projects on packaging and energy efficiency
- Starch/ protein chemistry for surface modification
- Stabilisation of food emulsions
- Packaging and Manufacturing Process Optimisation
- Chemical Engineering – UHT process flow characterisation and improvement
- New packaging designs for sustainability and manufacturing efficiency improvement
- Sugar reduction in key products
To date, Macphie has been involved in more than 15 individual collaborative research projects with multiple universities which have yielded cost savings to the business of many hundreds of thousands of pounds.
“Innovation is a cornerstone for Macphie, developing new technologies, products, processes and packaging to add value to our business and better meet our customer needs.
Macphie utilises Interface as a Scottish brokering service that brings businesses and universities together. Interface has facilitated a series of collaborative projects across a range of business requirements with Scottish universities. Using the Interface network, we have managed to completely accelerate our innovation agenda.
At Macphie we now have a rich heritage of academic projects across many aspects of our business. These translate into shaping and driving our innovation agenda. Interface is a crucial partner in enabling us to pair up with the very best academic organisations to achieve success. Our ongoing outlook is to continue to invest resources in long-term, transformational projects to ultimately add even greater value to our customer offering.” Martin Ruck, Macphie’s Head of Research and Development.
Following a successful masters project with Abertay University on computer and web Enabled Food Product Evaluation System:
“Abertay has a specific interest in pursuing links with industry as part of the University’s Strategic Plan. The work with Macphie is an excellent example of how Abertay can be recognised for developing graduates equipped with the attributes and attitudes to contribute significantly to future economies.
The work has also been conducive for developing pathways to impact, allowing Abertay to generate an excellent track record with respect to KE activities that generate further income and reputation for the University.” Dr Nia White, Head of the Graduate School, Abertay University.
Interface also supported Macphie and the University of Edinburgh to develop and test a series of emulsions to use in a commercial setting. This led on to further studies on the role of fat crystallisation in the process of stabilizing emulsions and foams which enabled the company to increase the unsaturated fats in their products.
“It was very interesting for us to apply our expertise in the physics of emulsion technology to support a company developing healthier products.”
Dr Tiffany Wood, Director of the Edinburgh Complex Fluids Partnership, The University of Edinburgh.
Macphie have worked with the following Universities and Research Institutes: University of Edinburgh, Glasgow Caledonian University, University of Strathclyde, Heriot-Watt University, Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health at the University of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University, Abertay University, Queen Margaret University.