This one-day event will showcase impact success stories, offer you a chance to find a partner from another Scottish university, and give you the opportunity to access funds for impact collaborations. Inspirational sessions include a keynote speech from Mark Miodownik and skills development and networking facilitated by Skillfluence.

The IAA Impact Festival is organised by the five Scottish universities with EPSRC Impact Acceleration Accounts (IAAs): University of Edinburgh, University of Strathclyde, University of Glasgow, Heriot-Watt University and University of St Andrews.

Plenary sessions

Our keynote speaker is Mark Miodownik, Professor of Materials and Society at UCL. He champions materials science research that links to the arts and humanities, medicine and society. Mark established the Institute of Making, where he is a director and runs the research programme. He also recently set up the Plastic Waste Innovation Hub to carry out research into solving the environmental catastrophe of plastic waste. Mark is a broadcaster and writer on science and engineering issues, and believes passionately that to engineer is human. In 2018 he was awarded an MBE for services to materials science, engineering and broadcasting.

The keynote will be followed by lightning talks from impact leaders from the five leading Scottish universities in science and engineering. The speakers will share their experiences of creating different types of impact from social and policy impact to industry collaboration, commercialisation and company creation. Learn how our speakers have leveraged the support available to them to further their career and translate their research into impact. The speakers are:

Interface will be exhibiting at this event so come and join us.


The Easter Ross Seaboard is a stretch of coastline approximately fourteen miles in length and the Seaboard villages of Shandwick, Balintore and Hilton are situated halfway along this coast. They are often referred to locally as ‘the villages’ or ‘the Seaboard’ and have a strong background in the fishing industry. The Seaboard Memorial Hall (SMH, also known as the Seaboard Centre), which started out in 1958 as a small village hall, was rebuilt in 2001 and is now a modern adaptable venue with excellent conference, training and arts facilities.  It is the hub of the local community accommodating regular user groups and a community café.


Seaboard Memorial Hall Ltd (SMH) was looking to create a new and permanent Heritage Community Centre to serve the local community and attract new tourism to the area.  The Centre was to be based on the extensive and exceptional collection of paintings and memorabilia of John Paterson (1872-1945), a fishing station owner and amateur artist.  Over 200 paintings survive, many being portraits of local people who modelled for him.  The fishing industry that sustained the local community no longer exists but the family has retained a wealth of related materials that will form the core collections for the heritage centre.  The fishing sheds and studio are still in existence and form an integral part of the story.

The immediate aim of SMH was to develop a workforce plan for the centre, identifying the new skills and expertise that would be required for the successful and sustainable operation of the heritage centre.  Such a facility, through the development of a diverse and flexible workforce, both paid and volunteer, would benefit the local community by enhancing this area as a destination of cultural interest.


After being referred by Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE), the SMH contacted Interface, who were able to secure the expertise of the University of St Andrews Museums, Galleries and Collections Institute (MCGI).  The MCGI is the research arm of Museum and Gallery Studies at St Andrews. The Museum and Gallery Studies Masters course at the University of St Andrews is the longest running course in Scotland and over the past three decades has built up practical, vocational and research expertise in all areas of museum work.

Their collaborative project was funded by a Scottish Funding Council Workforce Innovation Voucher.


The resulting products from this collaborative project were:

For the first time, the Heritage Centre will be able to tell the story of the Seaboard area and its past fishing industry, using the time capsule of one local man, his life and work as a lens to focus on and engage with the wider fishing community and society, bringing the rich history of the area to life.  It will bring in new visitor and tourist business, and it will enable the local population to use their personal knowledge of the area in different ways and pass on that local knowledge to visitors and the local younger generation.  It will also offer new workforce opportunities to develop expertise and practice in the many aspects of heritage management.



KINGDOM Scotland is developing Scotland’s first creative luxury fragrance house by introducing rare and evocative scents.  As a luxury brand, they source high quality ingredients and their perfume oils are the best grades available. KINGDOM Scotland will draw on the rich flavours and textures of Scotland’s cultural heritage – from landscape and mythology to whisky distilling and the history of perfume in Scotland – in order both to inspire its products and shape its brand. In doing so it hopes to ‘bottle Scotland’ and provide consumers with experiences which put them in touch with Scotland’s complex and fascinating past and present.


The director and founder of KINGDOM Scotland, Imogen Russon-Taylor, was initially inspired by her experience working with Scottish whisky brands. She was struck by the connection both between whisky and heritage and between whisky and perfume. Both are produced by traditional distillation methods; both evoke a complex sensory experience; and both rely upon the innovative use of ingredients or flavours to distinguish themselves from competitors. Imogen began to consider the potential for a new brand to ‘bottle Scotland’ and to use perfume to share old narratives in new ways as there were rich stories associated with perfume and natural ingredients in Scotland.

Imogen didn’t have the skills to access these stories through archives and national records so she approached Interface to help her find the necessary university expertise. 


Imogen was put in touch with PhD student, Dawn Hollis, a historical researcher at the University of St Andrews, to help her look into the history of Scotland’s perfume and to look into sourcing ingredients that had a heritage in Scotland. 

As Dawn focussed her research on the archives and Herbarium collections of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Edinburgh, Imogen became increasingly keen to incorporate the results of this research into a ‘Botanicals’ range, with a focus on ingredients either found within or with a strong connection to Scotland. Dawn suggested drawing upon the collections of famous or interesting Scottish botanists in order to add more exotic flavours to this range, focussing her research on the collections of George Forrest (1873-1932) and Isobel Wylie Hutchison (1889-1982).  Profiles were drawn up for both a ‘Botanical Floral’ perfume (inspired by the collections of George Forrest and featuring scents of champacha, rhododendrons, and honeysuckle) and for an ‘Arctic Poppy’ perfume  (now known as Albaura, inspired by Isobel Wylie Hutchison and drawing on ‘green’ Arctic scents).

The project was funded by a Scottish Funding Council Innovation Voucher.


This project will support the development of what is certainly the first Scottish luxury perfume house in many years, if not the first in Scottish history. It is underpinned by the considerable expertise of its founder, whose original inspiration for KINGDOM Scotland was drawn from her experience in the Scottish whisky industry.

Worldwide, Scottish whisky is worth £5billion, making it one of Scotland’s most considerable exports. The global perfume industry, however, is worth £22billion. By bringing both together, KINGDOM Scotland aims to tap into multiple markets, offering considerable benefits in terms of increased revenue and employment.

“Working with St Andrews was very just for this project.  It’s the oldest university in Scotland and by delving into Scotland’s perfume past, it’s been the perfect partnership to bring this project to life”, said Imogen Russon-Taylor, KINGDOM Scotland Ltd.

“Carrying out research on behalf of KINGDOM Scotland was such an exciting and challenging venture – it was fantastic to collaborate with a new Scottish company and to ask new questions of the historical archives based on their needs and interests. It was also wonderful to see my research having a genuine impact on the development of KINGDOM Scotland’s new ranges – not many historians can say they can wear the results of their research as a luxury perfume.” said Dr Dawn Hollis, University of St Andrews.

Kingdom Scotland from University of St Andrews on Vimeo.

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.