How to get started

Who’s this opportunity for?

Any organisation that takes part in AmbITion Scotland activities – cultural and heritage organisations – such as museums, galleries, festivals, performing arts and literature companies, visitor attractions are eligible to take part in this initiative. You don’t have to have worked with an academic partner before – 74% of the projects brokered so far by Interface have been maiden journeys!

What type of project might be suitable?

Any digitally focused research or analysis, business or product development or innovation, service or process improvement and innovation testing. Basically, a project that helps your business solve a need or problem, for example: online audience research; digital data collection; trialling a new digital production or distribution method for artistic work; linking operational digital tools to each other; etc. The case studies below can give you some ideas.

What’s the first step?

  1. Find an organisational need/business problem around progressing your innovations that you want to solve and that a relationship with an academic team or student could assist.
  2. Define the problem and clarify what needs you have and explain your aspirations – what might a successful outcome look like? Look at the case studies for some ideas.

What might happen next?

  1. Once your organisation has identified a potential project, then a meeting with the Interface team will take place.
  2. This discussion will explore the requirements and devise an action plan of next steps (e.g. Interface to identify academic capability, organization to follow-up direct links with other organisations offered at initial meeting, etc.)
  3. Academic groups are found for your project by Interface and presented to you as a short-list for your review.
  4. Introductions and initial meetings are made with the academic institutions you’ve shortlisted.
  5. You chose the best fit, and facilitated discussions between the chosen academic institution and your business will determine the solution to enable the project to begin (could be innovation voucher or other feasibility funding, student based assignment, student internship etc)
  6. The academic institution will apply for the funds (if necessary) in partnership with the organization to achieve the solution, and drive the project management and reporting.

Tips on timescales

  • Working with universities and research institutes means you need to have an idea of when term times are. Find out whether the academic team or student internships will be working on your project during term time, holidays or both.
  • Bear in mind that both academics and students are more likely to be easily accessible for meetings and to see opportunities to work with you during term time.
  • You’ll be able to come up with a realistic timetable for completing the project together, once the project is given the go-ahead.