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Grant Reilly


8th September 2020


Innovation Centres event will set down challenge to Scotland ahead of COP26

Scotland’s Innovation Centres have teamed up with The Herald for a special, one-day online conference on Tuesday, November 3rd 2020 to explore innovation, inclusive growth, cultural change around climate action, and ultimately how collaboration could achieve national net zero targets.

The ‘Scotland’s Countdown to COP26’ event will mark one year until COP26, the UN climate change conference taking place in Glasgow in 2021. It will be the first time a COP summit has met in the UK and one of the largest events Scotland has ever hosted.

Chaired by Scottish Enterprise’s Martin Valenti, the free, one-day conference will be packed with plenary speakers, themed sessions, presentations, panel discussions, Q&As, networking and virtual exhibitions. Each will explore the different opportunities COP26 will present for Scotland to take action and create a prosperous, safer, and greener world.

Kate Raworth from the University of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute and Peter Lacy, Europe Lead for Accenture Strategy, will lead a list of high-profile speakers. There will also be six climate-themed sessions covering construction and the built environment; energy; health and wellbeing; sustainable industrial processes; sustainable food from land and sea; and transport.

The event will be delivered by the seven Scottish Innovation Centres:  CENSIS the Innovation Centre for sensing, imaging and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies; Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC); Digital Health & Care Innovation Centre (DHI); Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC); Precision Medicine Scotland (PMS); the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) and The Data Lab.

Launched in 2012, the centres accelerate technology advances by forging new collaborations between service delivery, businesses, and the research community, with a mission to create jobs and support inclusive economic growth. There will also be support from the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), and the Scottish Funding Council.

New business models and lifestyle changes imposed by Covid-19 have resulted in a reduction in CO2 emissions and an improvement in air quality across the globe. At Scotland’s Countdown to COP26, Scottish businesses and organisations of all types will be challenged to come together, collaborate, and respond in the run up to the summit, delivering new products, services, and ways of working that will lead to a more sustainable future.

The Innovation Centres will subsequently lead follow-on activities in the 12 months after the event, aiming to create and deliver transformational collaboration and climate change programmes across multiple sectors within Scotland and beyond.

Professor George Crooks OBE, chief executive of Digital Health & Care Innovation Centre, said:

“The responsibility to look after our environment and the real threat that climate change poses for us all is not simply a problem for governments around the world. Each and every one of us can play an active part if we are given the tools to do so. Digital health and care innovation cannot only address the societal challenges faced in the health and care sector, but by designing the next generation of services skilfully we can help deliver the zero-carbon target.”

Join the conversation and take up the challenge!

The event takes place on Tuesday 03 November 2020, is free to attend, and will be accessible online.

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