Heriot-Watt named third in collaborations between universities and business

Dr. Iain McEwan, Business Development Executive, EPS (Left), Ashley Baker, Macphie receive Outstanding Contribution to Knowledge Exchange Award from Professor Albert Rodger, Scottish Funding Council, at The Interface Excellence Awards, last November.

Last week figures released by Interface named Heriot-Watt in the top three of universities collaborating with businesses in Scotland.

Establishing collaborative projects

The figures show that between August 2005 and July 2013, Interface helped 583 businesses to further develop their products or services by establishing collaborative projects with experts from Scotland's Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). These collaborations currently contribute more than £17m to Scotland's economy each year, and that over the next five years could help to create a further 2,400 Scottish jobs.

Heriot-Watt was responsible for 93 (16%) of these collaborations.

Throughout the period, Interface had 2,384 enquiries from businesses seeking help, and has linked more than 1,600 companies with HEI's. These projects have resulted in more than £14.1m being generated for Scotland's HEIs.

"Over the past nine years, Interface has worked with all 24 Scottish HEIs and Research Institutes - matching them to businesses that want help, and facilitated those businesses to undertake specific R&D projects," said Dr Siobhán Jordan, Director at Interface.

"Scotland is renowned for its innovation, and our HEIs are teeming with experts who are willing, and able, to work with business and help solve problems or come up with solutions to drive business growth.

Impressive though they are, these figures represent only one element of university and business collaboration which just goes to show the significant value universities add to the business base and to Scotland's economy."
Alastair Sim, Director of Universities Scotland

Alastair Sim, Director of Universities Scotland said:"These figures capture a sense of the real culture change that has taken place in our universities over the last ten years or so. Universities are focussed on getting their knowledge and expertise out into businesses and other organisations where it can have a real impact and they now have the structures in place to be able to work with business very effectively.

"Impressive though they are, these figures represent only one element of university and business collaboration which just goes to show the significant value universities add to the business base and to Scotland's economy."

Interface and Heriot-Watt

This marks the latest in a long and fruitful relationship between Interface and Heriot-Watt. To date Interface have awarded the University 30 innovation vouchers and two knowledge transfer partnerships have been secured as a result of Interface introductions. Heriot-Watt also won two out of three prizes at last year's Interface Excellence Awards.