Groups of businesses and organisations in the creative, tourism, and food & drink industries  interested in innovating will be offered dedicated support to collaborate with academic expertise, thanks to a £250,000 funding boost.

Interface, which matches businesses and academics, will strengthen its team to offer targeted support to clusters of businesses in the three sectors as a result of the Scottish Government funding.

Four new positions at Interface will be appointed in late summer. The successful applicants will work with groups of businesses in the three targeted sectors to establish collaborative projects to address joint challenges and identify innovative opportunities which could future-proof their businesses. The overall aim is to enable businesses to be more competitive in national or global markets working in partnership with our world leading academics.

Two of the posts will focus on businesses in the food & drink industry, building on the achievements of Interface’s Food & Drink team over the past five years. One will focus on tourism businesses and the fourth post will support the creative industries sector.

Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse said: 

“I’m delighted to announce this additional funding for Interface, an organisation that performs a vital role in stimulating demand for innovation. This funding fulfils a commitment in our Programme for Government and will allow the organisation to enhance its team of experts and, thereby, extend its help to groups of companies and organisations in three key target sectors to discover the benefits of collaborating and partnering with academics from our world-class universities and research institutes.   

“The Scottish Government is committed to encouraging a culture of innovation and through our Scotland CAN DO innovation framework we are investing in the development and application of research, innovation and knowledge exchange activities which play an important part in shaping Scotland’s future.”

Suzanne Dawson, Head of Sector Relationships at Interface, said: 

“This Scottish Government funding will strengthen these sectors by supporting innovation which can lead to job security and creation, and increased turnover or profits.

“Interface is well placed to identify opportunities for businesses to work as multi party groups with academia from all disciplines, for example, using cutting-edge technology to attract new visitors or enhance their experience when they get to an attraction. 

“The funding will allow us to build on the success that we have achieved through establishing relationships between groups of food and drink companies and academics to scale up their businesses in a variety of ways.  We look forward to working closely with the key organisations supporting these three sectors including Scotland Food and Drink, Scottish Tourism Alliance and Creative Scotland to enable adoption of academic knowledge and expertise leading to enhanced ambition and connections.”

About Interface

Interface connects businesses from all sectors to Scotland’s 23 universities and research institutions. It is a unique service designed to address the growing demand from organisations and businesses which want to engage with academia.

Funded by the Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Interface is a free and impartial service which aims to stimulate demand for innovation and encourage companies to consider academic support to help solve their business challenges.

Interface helps companies operating across a range of sectors, from food and drink to financial services, offering huge benefits for both businesses and academia.

More information about the posts and how to apply can be found here:

Interface Food & Drink

Interface Food & Drink is funded by the Scottish Funding Council and was set up in 2010 to promote partnerships between businesses and academics to drive innovation through knowledge exchange, collaboration and funding.

The five year project, which comes to a close in 2016, covers the whole of Scotland and the entire food chain from agriculture and fishing to production and processing, through to retail and export.

Scottish Government funding

The Scottish Government, through the Scottish Funding Council, has released £250,000 for the project to increase collaboration between the creative, tourism and food and drink industries, and universities and research institutions.