A new report has revealed that more than £24 million is being added to the Scottish economy every year through successful business and academic partnerships.
An independent evaluation investigating Scotland’s leading point of entry into the nation’s world leading academic expertise, Interface – The knowledge connection for business, predicts that this figure could rise to around £57m per annum, through enhancing company productivity.
More than eight out of 10 companies would seek to work with Interface again says the report, which was produced for The Scottish Funding Council in order to assess the important role that Interface has within the Scottish innovation system. Amongst those questioned were a range of stakeholders, Higher Education institutes and over 250 companies that have worked with Interface in the past.
Of the companies asked, 90 per cent were very satisfied or satisfied with the support provided to help develop the relationship with their academic partner. With over eight out of 10 stating that they were likely to collaborate with Scottish Higher Education Institutions or Research Institutes in the future.
The assessment found that since Interface was set up in 2005, 47 jobs have been created through partnerships, and that an estimated £7.5 million additional GVA has been generated for Scotland.
Without support from Interface, the majority of companies (79 per cent) said that they would have encountered difficulties in completing their project, while 39 per cent claimed that their project would never have gotten off the ground at all.
Interface is a Scottish Funding Council backed initiative that offers a central point of access for industry to Scotland’s research base through its unique matchmaking service. Its aim is to maximise business potential by matching a firm with the relevant expertise at universities and research institutes which can help develop solutions to R&D requirements.
Former Scottish Enterprise chief executive, Jack Perry, a long time supporter of Interface, comments: “Interface makes great connections and I hope that Scottish companies learn about it and make good use of it. We have so much talent in our universities that is just not finding expression in the profitable growth of Scottish companies. Let’s hope Interface helps them get connected.”
Dr Siobhán Jordan, director of Interface, is delighted with the outcome of the report: “This is confirmation that Interface is continuing to play an integral part in helping companies of all sizes and sectors collaborate with academia as well as growing innovation in Scotland. Our success is highly dependent on our range of research partners, the quality of our staff, the face to face contact we have when working with businesses and academics and Interface’s ability to address changing industry needs.”
Interface helps companies operating across a range of sectors, from food and drink to financial services, offering huge benefits for both businesses and academia.
The full Interface evaluation report can be found at: Interface Evaluation
To find out more about Interface and the opportunities available, please visit www.interface-online.org.uk
Partnership case studies are available on request.
Ends 24 December 2010
Notes to editors:
About Interface – The knowledge connection for business
Interface is a central hub connecting businesses from a wide variety of national and international industries to Scotland’s 26 higher education and research institutes. Connecting businesses quickly and easily to Scotland’s world class expertise, skills and research facilities, it is a unique service designed to address the growing demand from organisations wanting to engage with academia. Funded by the Scottish Funding Council, Interface is a free and impartial service which aims to stimulate innovation and encourage companies to consider academic support to help solve their business challenges.
Tel: 0131 556 6649