Category Archives: Knowledge Exchange

Animation industry merges techniques and technology

Getting creative photo
By Caroline Parkinson, Sector Engagement Executive – Creative Industries, Interface

Caroline Parkinson

Last week I was involved in a panel (or two!) in the second year of the MOVE Summit – a dedicated conference led by the animation industry in Scotland. The summit comprised two days – one day dedicated to our Emerging Talent and two to the professional freelance and commercial companies in Scotland. I was invited to speak to the Emerging Talent audience of 110 students studying a range of subjects in the animation and digital media field, about the potential route to developing their innovation ideas with academic support post-graduation. I was joined by Brian McNicoll, University of Dundee Entrepreneurship, who is also the founder of Dynamo Games; David Smith of Cultural Enterprise Office; Ross McKenzie of Creative Scotland, who led the Animation Sector Review, and two studio leaders – Mally Graveson, Heehaw, and Jill Wallace, Axis Animation, about the realities of starting a business or gaining employment. Continue reading

Lee’s outstanding contribution to knowledge exchange

Professor Lee Innes
Professor Lee Innes, Communications Director at Moredun Research Institute and winner of the Outstanding Contribution to Knowledge Exchange 2017, tells us about the importance of academic-business partnerships and why travelling helps people work together. Continue reading

Christmas magic with No. 1 bestseller


By Alexander McCabe, author and businessman

Alexander McCabe profile picture

What inspired you to set up your own business?

My wife, Marie. Marie is Canadian and so we’d gone to Canada as it seemed more likely that I’d secure a spousal visa there than she could secure one here. However, the whole process took over 2.5 years and, in that time, I was prohibited from working, studying or volunteering. So, I started writing. I wrote The Christmas Present for our son, Gabriel. It was inspired by Ian Fleming who wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang! for his son Caspar who had asked to read one of his novels. Understandably, given the adult content, Ian Fleming had refused. However, undeterred, Caspar asked his father to write a book for him. Continue reading

Softer skills do compute with industry engagement

Students brainstorming ideasBy Dr Bruce Sharlau, Senior Lecturer in Computing Science at the University of Aberdeen.

Dr Bruce Sharlau

I’ve always been interested in the practical side of computing; the ‘how do I use this’ aspect of programming. I want to know how I can use the technology to make an impact on whatever project I’m developing. I carry this through in my teaching so that I find ways to bring the student learning experience closer to what students need to know to work in a software development role after graduation. This means finding ways to bring similar skills and opportunities to students. This has resulted in a range of opportunities that we offer to students.
These vary from using the same tools and technologies as professional developers, to group and individual projects with live clients under the Interface administered Innovation Voucher Scheme. Continue reading

Cereal innovators grow Hebridean barley

Isle of Raasay Distillery

Isle of Raasay Distillery

By Rhiannon Merritt, Business Engagement Executive, Interface

No two days are the same in my job; last month I found myself standing in a field of barley on the picturesque island of Raasay – in the torrential rain – wearing a dress and blazer! Continue reading

Summer’s here!

By Siobhán Jordan, Director, Interface

As I write this, the rain drips down incessantly and peering at the grey sky fails to give me any hope of a ray of sunshine today.  Slugs and snails are enjoying tasty feasts in my garden and my attempts at improving my golf are on hold for another few weeks.
But it is not all despair for the Scottish summer – there are lots of positive signs around! Continue reading

From clothes to digital, call the connectors!

Aberdeen beach
Gillian HambleyBy Gillian Hambley, Business Engagement Executive, Aberdeenshire

Scotland is an innovative and creative country and I am delighted through my role with Interface (based in Aberdeen), I can support local companies on their innovation journeys by connecting them into universities to help them solve their challenges and grow their business. Continue reading

The sky’s the limit

Prof Andrew RaeBy Professor Andrew Rae
Professor of Engineering at the University of the Highlands and Islands

When I was about eight years old, I came to understand that being Batman was not an achievable career choice. It was a sad day for me, but this ‘Road to Damascus’ moment (or perhaps, more properly, this ‘Road to Gotham’ moment) had a silver lining. I was (and still am) a complete aviation anorak so I settled on the thought that I’d like to design aeroplanes for a living. (When I was eight, Batman was not the dark knight of the modern blockbusters, but the somewhat more cringe-worthy “Biff!”, “Bam!” and “Kapow!” of the recently departed Adam West, so I think I made the right choice.)  Continue reading