Edinburgh from the Crags

Edinburgh is a world-class city for so many reasons, which is why the EICC is taking that message to the world

Despite being a small city Edinburgh seriously punches above its weight in a commercial sense. The cobbled streets, narrow closes and Edinburgh Castle act as a permanent reminder of the capital’s history, however Edinburgh’s position as a major global business player couldn’t be any more current.

This wealth of global talent and resources has prompted the EICC to establish a series of lectures to celebrate Edinburgh’s greatest innovations. The series is called InnovationNation and Rory Archibald from the EICC’s Sales team explains more: “We came up with the concept whilst we were bouncing ideas around the office with regards to another event. Within 24 hours I had submitted a full proposal to our CEO for a series of lectures based around the theme of innovation both in Edinburgh and Scotland. That was in October last year so it has been a very quick turn around from the initial concept to delivery of the lecture series – an approach which our CEO wholly endorses.”

Wind energy
Above: The first lecture was based on energy due to Scotland’s strong reputation in the field

Edinburgh has so many strengths and Rory feels that the EICC is the ideal platform to shout about what Edinburgh is good at: “The main aim is to showcase where Edinburgh excels,” Rory explains. “The city is an innovator of industries and a pioneer of research with both world-class educational institutions and organisations. We want to spread that message across the city and give members of the public the opportunity to learn more about what goes on in Edinburgh from both an academic and a corporate point of view.”

The EICC is such a prominent feature of the city, but many members of the public have still not had the opportunity to experience the facilities. InnovationNation allows the public to see first-hand why the EICC is regarded as a world-class venue. “We open our doors as a public venue during the Edinburgh Festival in August, but outwith that period the EICC is mainly used for business events and conferences. InnovationNation is our opportunity to showcase the EICC to the general public.

Professor Martin Tangney
Professor Martin Tangney, Director of
the Biofuel Research Centre at Edinburgh
Napier University, spoke at the first
InnovationNation lecture in February

“We are also inviting senior school pupils and students from universities across the city and central Scotland to the InnovationNation lectures, so that we can build connections with the innovators of the future,” says Rory. “We have had full endorsement from the University of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt University and Napier University, all of which have been really supportive in helping us to secure speakers and spread the word.”

The lecture subjects have been expertly selected by the EICC’s research team, which has a firm grasp of the latest innovations in the city: “We decided to base our first event around the energy sector, as Scotland has a really strong reputation in this field. Edinburgh is also a world-leader in the technology sector, so that will be the focus of our lecture in June. We have a whole host of exciting events coming up!”

InnovationBody will take
place in May, with keynote
speakers Professor Margaret
Frame and Professor
Catherine Geissler

Although the EICC is the main hub for InnovationNation, the team already has plans to take the lectures further afield: “We’re aiming to take one of our lectures to London later on in the year,” says Rory. “InnovationNation has real promise for the future.”

Upcoming InnovationNation lectures

Below you will find a list of upcoming InnovationNation lectures. You can attend for free by visiting the EICC website.

  • Sunday 12 April and Tueday 14 April
    (Tickets £10 via Edinburgh Internation Science Festival)


  • Thursday 21 May


  • Monday 22 June


  • Thursday 09 July