Press release -

Innovating the Nation

Scotland’s only scientist to be selected for a unique all-female international expedition to Antarctica will help launch a new national ambassador programme celebrating Scotland’s global reputation as a knowledge economy.

INNOVATETHENATION, created byVisitScotland Business Events,is aimedat bringing together experts, influencers and the next generation of innovators through a series of free-ticketed events held in Scotland.

Dr Raeanne Miller from the Scottish Association for Marine Science in Oban will speak at the first event in the series, under the title INNOVATEMARINE, at St Andrews University on 29 September.

INNOVATETHENATION is a new national ambassador programme which aims to celebrate Scotland’s vast innovation legacy whilst looking to continue and develop that knowledge legacy for future generations.

Dr Miller is a NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellow for Wave and Tidal Energy at the Scottish Association for Marine Science in Oban and is the only Scottish-based scientist in a group of 77 women from around the world to be selected for a female-only expedition to the Antarctic in December.

The Australian-led Homeward Bound Project, of which the expedition is part of, aims to enhance the influence and impact of 1,000 women in science over a ten-year period to give them the experience to take up and remain in leadership roles to ensure the sustainability of the planet.

Dr Miller will be joined at INNOVATEMARINE by Professor Vincent Janik, Director of the Scottish Oceans Institute at the University of St Andrews which studies the marine environment from deep sea oceans to the coasts, the people who use and interact with the sea and the biological and physical processes that make the oceans functions.

Professor Janik will also talk about the exciting new £10 million marine laboratory planned for St Andrews University which will cement Scotland’s reputation as a world leader in research and species protection.

As well as celebrating Scotland’s global reputation as a knowledge economy, INNOVATETHENATION will demonstrate the importance of Business Events – worth £1.9 billion to the Scottish economy – to innovation, research, industry and highlight where ‘ambassadors’ can help influence bringing these events to Scotland.

Dr Raeanne Miller from the Scottish Association for Marine Science, said:

“Scotland has an international reputation for innovation, with our great inventions and scientific breakthroughs. SAMS, for example, was founded by Sir John Murray, who is considered to be the father of modern oceanography.

“While our achievements of the past should be celebrated, we must focus on how we can maintain our world-leading research by inspiring the next generation of scientists and innovators.

“We are currently witnessing rapid changes in the world’s climate and oceans, so it is imperative that we increase the number of women in STEM professions, so we have the best pool of talent available to answer some of ourbiggest environmental questions.

“I am excited to be involved in INNOVATEMARINE and to have the opportunity to speak about the aims of the Homeward Bound project.”

Rory Archibald, Business Development Manager for VisitScotland Business Events said:

“Business Events coming to Scotland are critical, not just for the significant contribution they make to the local and national economy, but also in promoting Scotland’s profile on the world stage.

“International events encourage collaboration between Scotland and worldwide partners, they help build the country’s infrastructure and provide huge potential for inward investment to our industries, our universities and our research institutes.

“We need our local experts and industry champions to work in collaboration with us to help us bring the world’s very best events to Scotland that will contribute to Scotland’s future success and continuing world renowned innovation legacy.”

Following the September event, the series will continue with INNOVATETECH on 6October in Inverness where technology pioneers, Edinburgh’s pureLIFI, will be one of the organisation’s taking centre-stage to showcase the latest in Scottish ground-breaking technological innovation.

INNOVATEMARINE will take place on 29 September from 6pm to 9pm inUpper College Hall, University of St Andrews, North St, St Andrews KY16 9AL.

To register for free tickets go to or contact

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Notes to Editors

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
    1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland       to visit different parts of the country
    2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
    3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international       opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One       Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
    4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
    5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
    6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
    7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP.
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  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
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    Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016

  • 2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design begins on 1 January 2016 and ends on 31 December 2016 and will build on the momentum generated by the 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
  • Join the conversation at #IAD2016
  • Events can join the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design Partner Programme throughout the year by visiting


Press contacts

Hamish Hutchinson

Corporate Press Officer - National Contact for media enquiries on: Business Events/Tourism; Film Tourism; Outer Hebrides 0131 472 2283

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