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Impact for scaleups


additional GVA


jobs created


business-academic collaborations initiated since 2005


supported to access expertise and facilities in the last 12 months


new/improved products, processes and services developed

Key sectors

Healthcare Impact ventures / Social Impact Life Sciences & Biotech Building & Construction Manufacturing / Advanced Manufacturing Creative, digital, film, games & media Professional services Defence & security Technology & Communications Engineering / Advanced Engineering Transport & Logistics Environmental Science & Technology Farming, fisheries & forestry Finance Food & drink

Newly endorsed by the Scaleup Institute in 2023, Interface connects ambitious and scaling businesses with Scotland’s academic knowledge base, creating opportunities to collaborate with leading thinkers and world-class expertise. Its mission is to deliver environmental, economic and social prosperity in Scotland and is committed to generate innovative approaches supporting the transition to a net-zero carbon society. 

Interface’s support is delivered in two key strands. These are facilitating introductions to academia and enabling access to the knowledge, skills, facilities and technologies of universities, colleges and research institutes. It also raises awareness of resources and funding opportunities available in support of the development and delivery of collaborative projects. 

Scaleups benefit from introductions to academia in accessing laboratory space, workshops and highly specialised equipment and in-house expertise. Through its networks and knowledge of the Scottish innovation ecosystem, Interface signposts scaleups to accelerators, hubs and the wider business support ecosystem. 

Participating scaleups can also access talent through collaborative projects with universities, colleges and research institutes, students, graduates, and early-stage career researchers are exposed to scaleups and support their business challenges. 

Interface also supports funding for scaling businesses. From August 2018 to January 2023, Interface facilitated 1,446 collaborative projects. 

Created in collaboration with the Scottish Government, its Inward Investment Catalyst Fund (IICF) attracts and supports scaling businesses not yet located in Scotland to collaborate with Scottish academic institutions. It funds up to £10k of academic time and facilities, and gives insight into further investment opportunities, supply chains, new markets and the skills base. 

Standard Innovation Vouchers support scaleups to develop new products, processes and services and vouchers are also available to support workforce innovation. Vouchers of £1k – £5k are available and must be match funded. Student Placement Innovation Vouchers of up to £5k give scaleups the opportunity to continue their collaboration with Scottish universities, working with PhD and Masters students, covering expenses and project costs. And Advanced Innovation Vouchers – delivered in partnership with Scottish Enterprise- offer match funded grants of up to £20k to build sustained collaboration between scaleups and academia. 

Sector specific grant funding supports key Scottish Government investment priorities, including support for scaleups in the food and drink sector. These include the Healthier Products Innovation Fund for Scotland, developed in collaboration with the Food and Drink Federation Scotland, and the Scottish Food & Drink Net Zero Challenge Fund in collaboration with Scotland Food & Drink.

Innovation Vouchers awarded to collaborations brokered by Interface contributed to the development of 553 new or improved products, 450 new or improved processes and 377 new or improved services as well as two improvements to supply chains.

According to their latest economic impact report, Interface has generated an annual net additional impact of £311.2 million GVA and supported 4,789 jobs. This implies that each £1 invested in Interface has generated £5.17 GVA for the Scottish economy; the average cost/job supported by Interface has been £10,772.

We have built a great relationship with UWS across two projects so far and look forward to continuing to build this relationship in the future. We have gained access to world class research expertise and are now looking at the potential to integrate a brand new, completely novel sensor into our device that will have real benefits for patients, health services and Current Health.
Christopher McCann – CEO, Current Health

…working with Interface was like having my own R&D team, they regularly sent on funding opportunities, opportunities to undertake further engagement with universities, sought connections into other commercial applications for our tech and overall widened our networks both academically and commercially.Lorenzo Conti, co-founder, Crover Ltd

Interface website