Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Paying too much for broadband? Move to PlusNet broadband and save£££s. Free setup now available - terms apply. PlusNet broadband.  

 

Academic Partnerships Boost

16/7/2012

Highlands and Islands companies confirm academic partnerships boost business.

Interface providing vital support to businesses.

Businesses in the Highlands & Islands are seeing financial benefits from academic partnerships according to new research, with one hundred per cent of firms surveyed confirming that they would work with universities for a second time.

The new report, compiled by Interface - The knowledge connection for business, asked companies they have assisted in the last year, across the Highlands & Islands, about their experience of working with academic partners to gauge the growth of this important sector and their interest in future collaborations.

Supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Scottish Funding Council, Interface launched a dedicated Inverness office last year to assist companies requiring access to the country's top academic expertise. The eighteen companies already engaged in collaborative projects supported by Interface forecast an increase in sales and exports of 1.45m as a result of the partnerships.

23.7 million (net GVA) is being added to the Scottish economy every year through successful business and academic partnerships brokered through Interface, and many in the Highlands & Islands have received a welcome economic boost, with almost a third asked expecting to see an increase in profit as a result.

Of the companies asked, six out of ten firms estimate that their reputation will be enhanced as a consequence of collaborating with a University or Research Institute, while over a third secured additional investment. Those companies currently collaborating with universities responded that they would not have considered working with universities had it not been for Interface.

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.

Dr Siobhn Jordan, director of Interface, is encouraged by the results: "The findings confirm that academic partnerships are providing real benefits for companies, not only in terms of profit, but also in job generation, product development and increased sales exports.

"It's often difficult for companies to come up with ways to increase their competitiveness, develop new products or exploit new market opportunities, therefore I would urge them to speak with our team in Inverness, which offers free and impartial advice for businesses to help them meet these challenges head on."

Charlotte Wright, director of Business and Sector Development at Highlands and Islands Enterprise, said: "Our partnership with Interface and the Scottish Funding Council has been a great success over the last year. Over 130 companies across the Highlands and Islands have taken part in the initiative to date and we have directly supported 20 collaborative projects which now forecast an increase in sales and exports of 1.45m as a result. Interface provides a unique service to support businesses, social enterprises, community groups and development trusts across the whole of the Highlands and Islands and we look forward to working with them to expand their services."

Laurence Howell's, Senior Director of Skills, Research and Knowledge Exchange at the Scottish Funding Council, said: "I'm delighted to see the investment we've made in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise making such a tangible difference to businesses and employment prospects in this part of Scotland. The new Interface office in Inverness has achieved a great deal in a short space of time which is a tribute to the staff there and to the companies and the universities working hard to increase jobs and growth"

To find out more about Interface and the opportunities available, please visit www.interface-online.org.uk

The Interface Highlands and Islands Team can be contacted at Cowan House, Inverness Retail and Business Park, Inverness IV2 7GF

 

Related Businesses

 

Related Articles

Hydrasun announces major investment in its specialist manufacturing capabilities
Hydrasun, a leading specialist provider of integrated fluid transfer, power and control solutions to the global energy market, is looking to expand its operations with a £3M investment in its specialist manufacturing facility in Aviemore.  This is also being supported by a £500,000 development grant from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).  
Highlands And Islands Enterprise Invests In New Data Labs
A new £11.3 million innovation centre dedicated to helping Scotland capitalise on the growing market in analytics and ‘big data’ technology is set to open later this year.  The investment is projected to return a minimum of 345 new jobs and an additional £155 million of value to the Scottish Economy.  
Superfast fibre broadband to roll out on first Scottish Island
Homes and businesses in Lerwick on Shetland are set to be Scotland’s first island community to get fibre broadband as part of the £410 million Digital Scotland partnership.   Lerwick joins Keith in Moray as the latest areas to be announced as part of the Digital Highlands and Islands project which will deliver fibre broadband to 84% of premises across the region by 2016.  
Deadline approaching for Highlands & Islands Food and Drink Awards 2014
Food and drink businesses across the Highlands and Islands and within the Cairngorms National Park area have just days left before the deadline to enter the region’s largest and most prestigious food and drink industry awards.   As the Wednesday, 23 April deadline approaches for entries for this year’s Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards, sponsored by Gordon & MacPhail and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), organisers are calling on the area’s food and drink businesses to make sure they don’t miss the closing date.  
New operator and multi-million pound investment announced for Cairngorm Mountain
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is delighted to announce Natural Retreats, a specialist leisure and travel company, as the new operator of Cairngorm Mountain, taking effect in June 2014.  Natural Retreats are renowned for offering customers and guests high quality tourism based experiences in some of the most dramatic natural locations around the world.  
Two Caithness Food Businesses Head For Singapore
Highlands and Islands businesses are at the forefront of showcasing Scottish food and drink in Singapore as part of two international events.   Eight companies from the region are part of an 18 strong Scottish delegation participating in a trade mission to Singapore on 6-10th April in a bid to crack one of the world’s wealthiest economies.  
£6 million for Scotland’s wave and tidal industry
he marine energy sector is to benefit from £6 million in funding to further develop testing of new wave and tidal energy prototypes in the seas around Scotland.   Scottish Enterprise is launching the third round of the remaining competitive funding from the initial WATERS fund in collaboration with Highlands & Islands Enterprise.  
[Marine Services]14/3/2014
Heavy Lift Pad Construction Underway At Wick HarbourThumbnail for article : Heavy Lift Pad Construction  Underway At Wick Harbour
Wick Harbour Authority is making progress with its plans to create a heavy-lift facility on the commercial quay at Wick harbour, with contractors Gunns Lybster Ltd having now begun the work.   The project, and its associated dredging works, was supported by CNSRP partners HIE and NDA respectively and is the first of several proposed phases of work to position the harbour as a key player in the energy sector, with the current focus being on potential to benefit from the development of Offshore Wind in the Moray Firth.  
New investment in Caithness battery powerThumbnail for article : New investment in Caithness battery power
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) Chief Executive Alex Paterson has been visiting a Thurso factory where two battery manufacturing firms are powering ahead under new ownership.   HIE has supported the smooth change-over for new investors at AGM Batteries and ABSL Power Solutions, which were previously owned by US-based multinational Enersys Inc.  
Graduates attend first ScotGrad skills courseThumbnail for article : Graduates attend first ScotGrad skills course
The first residential course for the ScotGrad Graduate Placement Programme in the Highlands and Islands took place this week.  The 18 graduates who attended the tailored business skills course are employed to work on innovative projects by organisations across the area.  

[Printer Friendly Version]