Farmers can future-proof businesses with clever connections

Farmers are being asked: “What’s the problem?” in a new campaign aimed at encouraging them to innovate to future-proof their businesses.

Industry news
Published: 19/07/2023

Farmers are being asked: “What’s the problem?” in a new campaign aimed at encouraging them to innovate to future-proof their businesses.

Finding solutions to long-term problems can be challenging for farmers because of lack of time and resource, but a national business support service can help address problems and plan for a sustainable future by offering a direct route into Scotland’s world-leading universities, research institutes and colleges.

Interface is a free service which matches businesses to academic teams and individuals to address challenges through research and development. The organisation has team members throughout Scotland who can help farming businesses achieve their ambitions, no matter the size or scope.

Mari Findlay, Interface’s Business Engagement Executive in Dumfries, Galloway and Ayrshire, said: “We can help save the farming community time, money and effort by matching them to the right expertise across Scotland’s renowned higher and further education institutes.

“From automation, data and digital, through to sensors and engineering, the knowledge base in our country’s universities is vast and can be applied in all kinds of ways and to all sorts of issues.”

Projects can support activities to reduce costs; improve efficiencies and resilience; adopt new technologies; combat weather impacts; manage waste; identify additional income streams; and diversify farming businesses.

Projects supported by Interface include:

  • Arbikie Distilling Ltd – research with Heriot-Watt University’s International Centre for Brewing and Distilling into growing ancient grains (known to have the potential to reduce emissions) for whisky production.
  • Beirhope Alpacas – an agritourism company in the Borders who worked with visual communications and design students to develop their business’ brand and visual designs.
  • Crover Ltd – who have created a robot which “swims” through stored grains by collecting real-time data such as moisture content and temperature to detect spoilage/infestation.

Interface has been matching businesses to academics to undertake collaborative research and development for more than 18 years.

Since 2005, over 3,400 collaborative business-academic projects have been initiated by Interface with 83% of businesses recording impacts such as reduced operating costs, increased productivity, profits, exports, turnover and new or safeguarded employment.

To find out how Interface could support you and your farming business, please contact Mari Findlay at

Further information about how Interface can support you can be found here – Farming & Agriculture: What’s your problem?

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