Food & Drink, Agritech and Aquaculture

Interface supports Drink and Food Innovation

In 2014 the GVA contribution of food and drink to the Scottish economy was worth £5.3 billion, and it has only grown in the years since. Scotland has hundreds of academic experts and facilities useful to the food & drink industry, from new product development and consumer research through to sustainability, waste management and engineering. Interface supports projects relating to food innovation and drink innovation.

Interface also supports Agritech and Aquaculture 

Agriculture technology is the practice of using developing technology to produce more food with less, making farming more efficient and sustainable, and aquaculture is the practice of farming of organisms found in the sea, such as fish, shellfish and even plants. These technologies are beneficial for development of the food and drink sector. At Interface we want to work with innovative people within the sector, to match them with expertise to actualise their ideas.

How Interface can help Drink and Food Innovation 

If you are a business or organisation looking for assistance with food innovation, drink innovation, or agritech and aquaculture support, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are able to provide partnerships with academia which could be a starting point for you to reevaluate, streamline and improve your product, process or service.

In March 2017, the Scotland Food & Drink Partnership launched a new industry-led strategy, Ambition 2030, which outlines the Partnership’s vision, mission and strategy. In pursuit of accelerated growth, Ambition 2030 aims to double the value of the industry to £30bn by 2030 through growing our markets (Scotland, Rest of UK and International), developing our capabilities (People & Skills, Supply Chain and Innovation) and focusing on our behaviours (Responsible, Streamlined and Collaborative)

Innovation will be essential to ensure this growth and is also key in meeting the demands of an increasingly knowledgeable consumer while improving efficiencies along the supply chain. Drink and food innovation involves a lot more than developing new products and flavours and recent projects have seen companies looking to academia for expertise, technologies and facilities including:

  • Adding value to waste
  • Resource Efficiency
  • Food Safety
  • Authenticity and Traceability
  • Consumer and Sensory Analysis
  • Health
  • Smarter Packaging
  • Sensors
  • Smarter Ingredients
  • Reformulation for health
  • Imaging
  • Engineering
  • Brewing and Distilling Challenge
  • Supply Chain & Logistics
  • Mathematical Modelling

Multiparty Collaboration

Interface is involved in multiparty groups to help showcase academic expertise and are actively seeking further opportunities where a number of companies and stakeholders come together and collaborate for mutual benefit. Through sharing of best practise groups can overcome specific challenges for the sector or build knowledge on themes such as resource efficiency or reformulation for health. We have been involved with 16 groups, ranging from primary production including soft fruit, rapeseed oil, potatoes, venison and seaweed, to further processing for chocolatiers, cheese makers, distillers, bakers, butchers and juice makers.

Make Innovation Happen

Make Innovation Happen is a new and ambitious service to support businesses with food innovation and drink innovation.

Innovation in farming, fishing, food and drink is vital to empower Scotland’s food and drink businesses to respond to today’s consumer and market needs and to adapt to future challenges and opportunities. Research shows that when a company innovates, they are twice as likely to grow and three times more likely to export successfully. Many companies are already making good use of the world-class research base on their doorstep, but there is room to do more.

The new Make Innovation Happen service will provide food and drink businesses in Scotland looking for information and support with a single, streamlined access route to help them innovate. This service includes support for both incremental and disruptive innovation and is open to all businesses across the supply chain from farm to fork.

The Make Innovation Connectors include Interface, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands & Islands Enterprise and are the people who know about the range of support available and can help you tap into the right support for your business. Find out more at:

Food and Drink Innovation – Case Studies

  • Scottish Distillers Association paired with Heriot-Watt University’s world-renowned International Centre for Brewing & Distilling

Interface supported the partnership between Heriot-Watt University’s world-renowned International Centre for Brewing & Distilling with the Scottish Distillers Association that enabled the development of a unique library of over 40 botanicals grown in Scotland. Read the full Case Study.

  • W&J Knox Ltd paired with Abertay University

Interface worked with the company to identify suitable academic support to analyse this waste product and suggest a use for the nutrient rich solid cake produced from the process. The ‘cake’ which goes to an approved landfill site may have value in the nutrients contained within it which could be used to create a new product and thus reducing the volume and cost of the material going to landfill. Read the full Case Study.

Specialist Facilities for Food Innovation

Turning your concept into reality, no matter your sector or what material you have designed your product for, is possible through the vast range of specialist facilities and supporting technical resource. Explore some options which may be of benefit if you are looking for third sector support, or social enterprise support:

  • Greenhouses – Greenhouses, GroDomes, glass houses and plant growth chambers are designed to create specific environmental conditions all year round.
  • Brewing & Distilling – A wide range of facilities exist to support the brewing and distilling industries including experimental plants, fermentation and conditioning tanks, pilot distilleries and micro-maltings.
  • Nutrition Labs – Nutrition Labs can support research into diets, foods, ingredients and supplements with highly specialised equipment to help analyse carbohydrates, fats, glucose, cell structures and proteins​.

Interface Free and Impartial Services

For further information and to find out how Interface can help with your product, service or idea simply contact us. A member of our Business Engagement team would be delighted to help.