Highlights at the EICC The EICC’s series of Innovation Nation public lectures returns in 2017 with an inspirational line-up of thought leaders from fields as diverse as medicine, robotics and finance

Wellcome Library, London. Portrait of Dr. Elsie Inglis.

Innovation Nation, the EICC’s 2017 series of public lectures, kicks off in April with a focus on the unparalleled place held by Edinburgh on the world stage. Featuring the Director of Edinburgh World Heritage, Adam Wilkinson, Innovation Heritage takes place on 18 April to coincide with World Heritage Day and the 250th anniversary of Edinburgh’s New Town.

It is the first of several lectures revolving around Scotland’s designated Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, which applauds “the richness of Scotland’s intriguing history and impressive cultural heritage”.

The second lecture, Innovation Bridges, will celebrate the opening of the new Queensferry Crossing in May, while highlighting the innovation that led to the construction of the Forth’s three bridges across three different centuries. Innovation Robotics then follows in June ahead of UK Robotics Week, with speakers from the globally renowned Edinburgh Centre for Robotics, which is at the forefront of a new industrial revolution.

With three of Edinburgh’s major festivals celebrating their 70th anniversaries in August, the next lecture will feature keynote speakers from the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Edinburgh International Film Festival, discussing how constant reinvention and innovation has allowed Edinburgh to achieve its status as the world’s leading festival city.

The final lectures of the year will include Innovation Women in Medicine, overlapping with centenary commemorations of the death of medical pioneer Dr Elsie Inglis, and Innovation Finance, which will showcase the capital’s financial heritage.

Launched in 2015, Innovation Nation is designed to celebrate innovation in Edinburgh and Scotland. This year, the programme will be produced in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council and Edinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG). “Innovation Nation is all about presenting the best of innovation coming out of Scotland,” explains EICC Chief Executive, Marshall Dallas. “We think we have put together a programme of lectures that not only celebrates our standing in the world order but, importantly, gets to the nub of how we stay ahead in the 21st century.”

Upcoming events at the EICC

Scottish Thistle Awards

Scotland’s tourism industry employs more than 200,000 individuals, who together generate a staggering £11 billion of income per annum. Every year, these individuals are recognised at VisitScotland’s Scottish Thistle Awards. 2017’s prestigious awards ceremony took place at the EICC in March, with finalists from five regions competing in categories including Best Accommodation Provider, Best Cultural Event and Best Visitor Attraction. Read more.

Edinburgh Comic Con

Following fantastic feedback on the venue and selection of guests and exhibitors last year, Hero Conventions’ Edinburgh Comic Con will be back at the EICC on 15 and 16 April with another stellar line-up. Guests include actors from Marvel’s Doctor Strange, ITV’s Primevil and BBC’s Doctor Who as well as artists for comic books such as X-Men. There will also be signing sessions, workshops and the fiercely fought cosplay competition. Buy tickets.

Gino’s Italian Escape Live

Join TV’s favourite chef Gino D’Acampo for an evening of food and fun as he brings a piece of Italy to Edinburgh in May. Fresh from a hugely successful fourth series of Gino’s Italian Escape on ITV, Gino’s live stage show will see him demonstrate some of his signature recipes from all corners of Italy, while inviting audience members to join him on stage for what is sure to be a memorable experience. Buy tickets.

An evening with Barack Obama

President Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, will address philanthropy and business leaders at a dinner in Edinburgh on 26 May 2017 at the EICC. Hosted by the philanthropy, The Hunter Foundation (thehunterfoundation.co.uk), all profits from the event will be invested in charities supporting young people in Scotland. To register an interest in purchasing tickets, please contact elise@luxevents.co.uk or call Lux Events on +44 (0) 131 466 7199. Image by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images. Find out more.

Alzheimer Scotland Conference

This year’s conference will explore big issues, from the impact of Brexit on dementia research and collaboration to challenging and understanding often contradictory news headlines about nutrition, food and drink. With such challenging questions on the main programme, the opportunity to pick from nine breakout sessions, and the chance to engage with over 50 exhibitors and 500 delegates in our bustling exhibition area, this is a conference you can’t afford to miss. Register here.

For more information and to book tickets, please visit the What’s On page