ClimateXChange (CXC) was established in 2011 as Scotland’s Centre of Expertise on Climate Change. It aims to link research and policy, and to be a focal point the Scottish Government can call on for advice on climate change science, mitigation and adaptation actions, and analysis. Bringing together 15 Scottish institutions, CXC is an innovative organisation bridging the science policy gap. We outline CXC’s formation and structure, and use CXC’s experiences to date to highlight features that have been successful in facilitating knowledge exchange as well as on-going challenges. Based on our reflections of CXC, we demonstrate how boundary organisations can (i) meet near-term policy demand for evidence via small-scale, rapid response projects; and (ii) pool expertise from across the research community; whilst (iii) benefiting from longer-term, strategic programmes of research tackling complex, global challenges. We illustrate that while CXC has some unique characteristics, many of the lessons and experiences are applicable to other organisations seeking a greater connection between science and policy.