Scotland and Europe working together for a sustainable energy transition – 04 June
As part of EU Sustainable Energy Week in Brussels, Scotland House played host to a series of round-tables hosted by Paul Wheelhouse MSP – the Scottish Government's Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy – discussing best practice and how Scotland can work together with European partners to ensure a timely and effective transition towards more sustainable forms of energy, helping to tackle climate change. The day was split into three round-tables: in the morning, discussion focused on decarbonising heating as well as moving to Greener Energy efficient buildings. The afternoon saw two round-tables – the first on developing Scotland's approach to local energy systems and the second considering Scotland's subsea and marine renewable energy offering. This was followed by a networking reception hosted by Mr Wheelhouse in the refurbished Scotland House.
A Sporting Legacy – contributing to Europe's competitiveness in a global marketplace – 22 May
On 22 May, Scotland House and the Berlin Liaison Office to the EU jointly held a policy seminar on the legacy of sporting and cultural events in Europe, their economic and social benefits and the importance of boosting their competitiveness in the global marketplace. The event was hosted by Minister Fiona Hyslop, Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, and Aleksander Dzembritzki, State Secretary for Sport, Senate Department for the Interior Sport Berlin.
Speakers included representatives from the Scottish Government, the Senate Department for the Interior and Sport Berlin, the European Championships Management, Glasgow Life, the European University Sports Association, the organising Committee of the 10th World Games in Wrocław 2017, the European Broadcasting Union and the European Commission.
The policy seminar was followed by a concert highlighting the cultural programmes accompanying the games – the Glasgow European Championships Festival 2018 and the European Mile in Berlin, featuring talented students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Berlin's Universität der Künste.
Enhancing Innovation in Rural Areas: The Experience from Scotland - 7 June
The Scottish Government held a workshop in Scotland House to bring together policy makers with those involved in practical implementation of rural innovation projects. Speakers included research institutes, project participants and innovators from rural areas. The focus of the discussion was on examining the Scottish perspective on Rural Innovation developed over many years, and looking forward with the recent launch of the Rural Innovation Support Service (RISS) – a Scottish Rural Development Programme initiative.
Scotland's Collaborative Place in Europe – 26 March
On 26 March, Scotland House held an event on Scotland's collaborative place in Europe. The event was hosted by Scottish Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Ms Shirley-Anne Somerville. The event welcomed around 60 guests in the field of research and innovation from the EU-Institutions, country and regional representations and wider R&I stakeholders.
To showcase Scotland's contribution to European Science and Innovation, presentations were delivered on two Europe-wide research programmes, which include Scottish expertise; Gravitational Waves and the European prevention of Alzheimer's Consortium. The presentations were delivered by; Professor Sheila Rowan, Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland, Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, Principal, University of Glasgow, Professor Michele Punturo,Senior Researcher, Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Professor Peter Mathieson, Principal, University of Edinburgh, Professor Craig Ritchie, Director, Centre for Dementia Prevention, University Edinburgh and Dr. Serge Van der Geyten, Director, Neuroscience External Affairs at Janssen Research and Development.
Following this, there was a panel discussion on the impact of EU R&I collaborations in Scotland and how this has contributed to the Scottish Research and Innovation landscape. The panel discussion included; the Principals of the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, Patrick Child, Deputy Director-General, DG RTD, Jan Palmowski, Secretary-General, The Guild of Research Intense Universities and Jan Reid, Specialist Energy and Clean Tech, Scottish Enterprise.
Burns Supper – 22 January
The Scottish Government EU Office held its 11th annual Burns Supper at the Residence of the UK Permanent Representative to the EU. The supper was hosted by Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, and provided an opportunity to welcome the new Presidencies of the Council of the EU - Bulgaria and Austria. The supper was attended by the Bulgarian PSC Ambassador and senior officials from the Bulgarian and Austrian Permanent Representations, as well as other high-level Brussels contacts.
Students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland entertained the guests with music and performances of some of Burns' best-loved works. In addition to this, the Bulgarian PSC Ambassador introduced guests to some of Bulgaria's literature with a reading of 'My Prayer' by Hristo Botev.
Scotland House Writers Series – 20 February
On 20 February, Scotland House welcomed Booker Prize shortlisted author Graeme Macrae Burnet for the latest instalment of the Scottish Writers Series. During the event which was moderated by Lynsey Rogers from The Scottish Book Trust, Graeme spoke to a busy lunchtime audience about his writing methods and the extensive archive-based research involved in writing his novels, particularly His Bloody Project, as well as his experience collaborating with translators when his books are published in different languages. The audience also enjoyed a question and answer session in which Graeme addressed questions on writing style, historical accuracy and the importance of literary prizes. The event was followed by a book signing session.
Scotland House Burns Concert – 23 January
Scotland House hosted its annual Burns Concert. The event was hosted by the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, and welcomed around 150 guests from the EU Institutions, country and regional representations and wider Brussels stakeholders. To celebrate Scotland's 2018 Year of Young People, the event invited talented young students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland who gave an excellent concert and entertained the audience with performances of Burns' works as well as a reading from 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stane' in Scots.
The event also served as the official launch of the latest Scotland House exhibition provided by Historic Environment Scotland, with Alex Paterson, CEO of Historic Environment Scotland, there to speak about the exhibition and its link with the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018. Following the speeches and performances, guests were invited to a reception dishing up traditional food and drink specialties.