Tag Archives: collaboration

Partnering with academics works

Heriot Watt Univeristy Soltropy Test Site Scotland

Stuart Speake profile picture

By Stuart Speake, Managing Director, Soltropy Ltd

Solar thermal business Soltropy and Heriot-Watt University won the Sustained Partnership Award at the 2016 Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards. The partnership, which started in 2013, has led to the development of a mass produced, easy to handle, modular solar thermal panel aimed at the UK and European markets.

Here, Soltropy founder Stuart Speake describes the journey from little acorns to mighty oaks. Continue reading

Lost (and found) in translation

Lost in Translation

By Teresa Shutter, Technology Translator, Interface Food & Drink, and Suzy Powell, PR and Communications Executive, Interface

Suzy: This summer, I have been playing a board game where you are given initials and have to guess what they stand for. Sounds like fun, eh?

Actually it is, as the aim of the game is to come up with the most far-fetched answers possible. For example, N.N.G.A. in reality is the Northern Nut Growers Association, however it could be the Newport Nautical Group of Artists. Or National Navy and Green Artefacts. It’s ridiculously silly but guaranteed to elicit a laugh. Continue reading

Let’s go innovate!


Bill McBride is a Director of the privately owned Westcrowns Group of companies, member of the Interface Advisory Board, Chairman of the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, Chairman of Routes to Work South Lanarkshire and a member of the Construction Scotland Industry Leadership Group.

I very recently had the pleasure of being invited to give the keynote presentation to the Canadian Construction Innovation Forum in Edmonton, Canada. Their organisational Board and Executive function is relatively new, full of vigour and directly driven and funded by their construction industry its supply chain partners and their customers. Continue reading

Do you know your intellectual property?

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By David Goodbrand, Partner in the IP & Commercial team at leading Scottish law firm Burness Paull

‘Intellectual Property’, ‘Intangible Assets’, ‘Intellectual Capital’ … SMEs might be forgiven for being rather daunted by the variety of terms that are used to describe, what are often, key business assets.

However, Intellectual Property (IP) is basically an umbrella term used to describe a range of legal rights that attach to certain types of information and ideas, and to their particular forms of expression. Continue reading

To boldly go…

By Suzy Powell, PR & Communications Executive, Interface

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

These familiar words for Trekkies came to mind after a workshop Interface staged for some key players in innovation policy in Scotland, where business-academic collaborations were described as a “journey which can take businesses to a lot of places”.

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Colleges Scotland welcomes Innovation Voucher expansion


Colleges Scotland welcomes the expansion into the college sector of an established funding scheme which helps match entrepreneurial Scottish businesses with Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).

Until now the Scottish Funding Council’s Innovation Voucher Programme has only been available to create links between small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) and Scotland’s HEIs. Continue reading

An innovation trip on Santa’s sleigh

by Siobhan Jordan, Director, Interface

The countdown has begun and it’s time for the busy elves in the Interface team to hang up their stockings in time for this year’s Christmas cheer!

And as it ‘tis the season to be jolly, a trip on Santa’s sleigh awaits taking in some of our highlights of the year.

First stop is the cosy log cabins from Tsarina Imperial Dacha through their collaboration with University of Strathclyde…

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Innovation Centres – who, what and why


by Suzanne Dawson, Head of Sector Relationships, Interface

Since I started with Interface back at the beginning of August I have spent a significant amount of my time developing an understanding of the who, what and why of Scotland’s new Innovation Centres and how Interface can work most effectively with them. What struck me pretty much from day one was how different they all are. They each have different aims and objectives, are at different stages in their development and follow different business models.   This is exactly as it should be. The Innovation Centres are industry led and what might be the right solution for the construction industry will not be right for industrial biotechnology or big pharma, for example.

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Collaboration can be a beautiful thing – a business perspective

This blog first appeared on the NCUB website

Dr Orla Kelly gives a personal account of her previous misconceptions about industry collaboration and how her experience throughout a Knowledge Transfer Partnership opened the doors for opportunity and put her in a great position to continue working in the UK industry at a competitive level. Continue reading