SFC news published since 2018. See SFC archived content for earlier news articles.

This August, Interface is celebrating its 15th anniversary with news of a record number of partnerships and research and development projects. Since Interface was established in 2005 to bridge the gap between the worlds of business and academia, Interface has brought together over 3,271 company and academic partners, resulting in 2,375 research and development projects. In the last year alone (up to July 2020) 329 research and development projects have been successfully brokered following introductions by Interface – the highest figure in any single year since the service was launched.

Stuart Fancey, Director of Research and Innovation at the Scottish Funding Council, said:

“Interface has been funded by the Scottish Funding Council since its creation and we are proud to have been able to support its impact on business innovation across many sectors of the economy throughout Scotland. Combining expertise and talent from universities and colleges with ideas and knowledge from progressive companies will be an important part of Scotland’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis, making the work of Interface more important than ever.” 

Richard Lochhead, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, said:

“The team at Interface continues to play a significant role in establishing long-lasting collaborations between businesses and academia delivering a range of social, environmental and economic impacts.

“What it has achieved in its first 15 years is impressive, and has enabled many productive partnerships helping Scottish companies and organisations to flourish and scale up, and I look forward to seeing many more achievements from them in future.”

Dr Siobhán Jordan, Interface’s founding director, established the service with a “blank sheet” after recognising the potential for greater collaborations between businesses and universities.

“Many industry led challenges have been solved over the past 15 years through partnerships we have brokered and it is humbling to see how the outcomes have truly made a difference to day-to-day life socially and economically. The impacts from the connections we have enabled are far reaching and brought interest and recognition from around the world. Crucially this has enabled Scottish companies to grow and scale; access new markets, expand workforces and increase turnover, whilst often bringing positive impacts on communities and individuals.”