Industrial experts muster for a sustainable Scottish science drive

Nathanael Williams

Campaigners for a circular economy meet to discuss policy ideas for better technology and governance

A SUSTAINABLE SCOTLAND is the ambition of experts in engineering and renewable firms to politicians and students, all attending a conference on sustainable innovation in Edinburgh this month.

The event will look at technological solutions to waste, economic stagnation and explore ideas such as the universal basic income and city-wide renewable heating systems.

Called the Edinburgh Sustainable Innovation Conference (ESIC), the whole day gathering will be held on  28 February at Dynamic Earth.

Event: Edinburgh Sustainable Innovation Conference

Speaking to CommonSpace for the Buchanan Institute Maazin Buhari said: “Being Scotland’s first, and only student-led think tank, at the Buchanan Institute we take our commitment to social responsibilities seriously. Therefore, our aim for the Edinburgh Sustainable Innovation Conference is to generate a dynamic conversation around sustainability, by showcasing innovative practices from Scotland and beyond.

“Rather than just paying lip service to the cause, we hope to actively contribute to the redrafting and shaping of ideas surrounding sustainable development.”

Royal Society of the Arts and the 2050 Climate Group are supporting the conference which will be attended by Neil Kermode, managing director of the European Marine Energy Centre who has been involved in many tidal and wind power projects and developments in Scotland.

Also attending will be David Pearson the director at Star Renewable Energy, a Scottish renewables firm which has been pushing the government to ensure more of Scotland’s heat generation comes from renewable sourced electricity.

Pearson plans to speak on the role of district heating schemes and heat pumps in Norway, such as the Drammen district heating scheme which has reduced emissions yet supplied reliable heating energy for a whole city.

Buhari added: “Through the creation of a common space for collaboration between the public, private and educational sectors – we hope ESIC will be a platform where connections and cross-sector engagement will bring sustainability to the forefront of our lives, in policy and practice, to enact real change.”

Concerns for the future of Scottish science, particualrly in the renewable energy sector, have grown since the UK’s vote to leave the EU in 2016 and UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s opting for hard Brexit. The developments present threats to Scotland’s relationship with EU-wide research and funding arrangements.

Picture courtesy of Friends of Europe

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