Scotland's innovation body a model for Australia?

Melbourne city

A unique Scottish organisation which helps businesses and academics work together on research and development projects could be replicated in Australia.

Siobhán Jordan, director at Interface – The knowledge connection for business, is speaking to representatives from the Australian Government and one of the world’s largest research organisations, along with the country’s top academics and researchers in Melbourne this month (February).

“This is a great opportunity to spread the word about what is being achieved in Scotland. Interface was established almost ten years ago and has grown from strength to strength with more than 2,700 enquiries from businesses and over 1,000 projects as a result.

"The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world, so it is a privilege to be asked by them to share Scotland’s experience”, added Dr Jordan.

Dr Jordan will share best practice about how Interface has supported businesses to work in partnership with academics on research and development projects. She will also talk about the impact these partnerships have had on the Scottish economy and society - current predictions estimate an increase to £80m and almost 2,400 jobs by 2018.

“The benefits to businesses, whether improving existing products or services, or developing new products, are numerous – from safeguarding or creating jobs through to increasing productivity to keeping companies at the forefront of competitive markets. Some business-academic partnerships lead to medical or scientific breakthroughs which can have a significant impact on many people.

"As the recent Research Excellence Framework results have demonstrated, we have world-class universities and research institutions on our doorstep with a wealth of expertise covering all sectors and Interface has established excellent relationships that enable us to connect businesses with the kind of research or facilities they need to increase their competitiveness, productivity and profits.

“The fact that Australian academics, researchers and government are viewing Interface as a model is a fantastic endorsement of what we do.”

Dr Jordan has also been invited to speak to the country’s top academics at the Australasian Industrial Research Group about the journey of Interface, from its inception in 2005 to today. 

Read more here.