List of events organised by Scottish Government EU Office (SGEUO) in Brussels in 2011.
The Scottish Government and Scotland Europa hosted a policy seminar EU Research & Innovation Policy - Unlocking the potential of SMEs which attended by over sixty participants.
The event explored the support available for SMEs and how EU and national/regional instruments can be tailored to meet the needs of SMEs and research. Participants discussed the different mechanisms currently available to support collaboration between research and business. Key points from the discussion were; keep it simple, offer intelligent, individual services and build on existing good local practice.
The Scottish Government EU Office once again hosted one of the biggest events of the year - our St Andrew's Day celebrations.
Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, Ms Shona Robison hosted this year's festivities which included a performance by the Scottish Ensemble, a group of outstanding musicians from across Scotland and Europe under artistic director Jonathan Morton. A special St Andrew's Day menu was served following the performance, including an impressive array of Scottish produce.
As part of the event the Minister officially opened the new graphic art exhibition entitled 'G'ie Me A Spark O' Nature's Fire' in Scotland House Conference Centre. The exhibition which has been coordinated by the University of Dundee and Dundee Contemporary Arts, features 24 individual artworks with a mix of contributors ranging from industry professionals to emerging talent from across Scotland and beyond.
The Scottish Government EU Office hosted the Good Practice Wind Project Workshop at Scotland House. The project aim is to complete a Good Practice Guide by Spring 2012, as well as producing a set of recommendations to make applications for new renewable energy projects quicker and more cost effective. The workshop brought together stakeholders from different countries to share experiences, and provided an opportunity for key players to shape the central document providing guidelines for planners and developers on a European scale.
The second annual UK Aquaculture Forum took place in Scotland House. The Forum considered issues relating to the industry and provided a platform to discuss and agree a common approach to responding to the EU decision-making process. The forum brought together stakeholders of the aquaculture sector including producers' organisations, industry representatives and government officials from across the UK and devolved administrations. Speakers at the event included Representatives from the European Commission and Parliament and UK academia. An evening reception showcased an array of Scottish seafood to around 40 guests, who included policy and industry representatives from other member states and the European Institutions.
The Scottish Government EU Office officially opened the exhibition, 'Scotland in Europe: Europe in Scotland' by Professor Richard Demarco on Tuesday 14 June. The new exhibition will be on display in Scotland House over the coming months and was commissioned by the Scottish Government to celebrate Professor Demarco's 80th birthday. The exhibition consists of a Limited Edition suite of Event Photographs from the Demarco Archive Collection. Professor Demarco discussed his work, and the exhibition, with Sandy Moffat (Royal Scottish Academy) and Struan Stevenson MEP, in front of an audience of key Scottish Government EU stakeholders and invited guests of Mr Demarco.
The Scottish Government, in partnership with Scotland Europa, hosted a conference as part of Green Week 2011. The conference focused on resource efficiency, reflecting the European Commission's Resource Efficiency Flagship Initiative. The conference was chaired by David Crawley, a member of the Board of Scottish Natural Heritage. There were contributions from the Scottish Government (zero waste strategy) , the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, The Scottish Wildlife Trust and Scottish Enterprise.
The Scottish Government, in partnership with Scotland Europa and the Scottish European Green Energy Centre, hosted a conference as part of the European Commission's EU Sustainable Energy Week. The conference focused on energy efficiency, in light of the Commission's newly released Energy Efficiency Plan 2011.
A Scottish Government official presented the work being done by the Scottish Government in the field of energy efficiency. Colleagues from the UK Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the University of Edinburgh and the Traffic Agency in Oslo also gave presentations. A panel discussion followed the presentations, with contributions from Fiona Hall MEP, the European Investment Bank, Scottish and Southern Energy and the Climate Group. Jennifer Rankin, Energy Journalist at the European Voice, chaired the conference.
The Scottish Government, in partnership with Scottish Enterprise and Highlands & Islands Enterprise, hosted a 'Sub Rosa' strategic discussion on the role and potential of Europe's future Cohesion Policy as a catalyst for economic growth'. The Sub Rosa team organised a dinner at the British Residence, hosted by HM Ambassador Jonathan Brenton, in order to give participants the opportunity to get to know each other. This was followed by a full day of discussion. Around forty participants were drawn from the European Commission, EU Member States and regions, think tanks and other organisations such as the OECD and the European Investment Bank. A final Sub Rosa paper which will reflect the discussions and identify policy options will be sent to the European Commission and other relevant stakeholders in advance of the publication of proposals for the new Multi-Annual Financial Framework in June.
Scottish Government and QAA Scotland held an event in Scotland House looking at 'The 21st century doctorate - sharing European developments'. The event formed part of the Bologna process and explored developments in doctoral research.
On Monday 28 February, the Irish-Scottish Links on Energy Study (ISLES) Seminar took place at the Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels. ISLES is a collaborative project between the Scottish Government, the Northern Ireland Executive and the Government of Ireland, and is funded by the EU's INTERREG IVA Programme. A Scottish Government official presented the work that is ongoing in ISLES to assess the feasibility of creating an integrated offshore grid to transport renewable energy generated in the northern coastal seas to key markets. The presentation was followed by a Q&A session with contributions from the Northern Ireland Executive and Government of Ireland.
The final instalment in this Scottish Writers Series featured Jackie Kay as guest author and poet. Ms Kay has published five collections of poetry for adults and her first novel, 'Trumpet' won the Guardian Fiction Prize, a Scottish Arts Council book award and the Author's Club First Novel Award. The event was facilitated by Robyn Marsack, Director of the Scottish Poetry Library.
Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Mike Russell opened a policy discussion on European Research and Innovation: Competitiveness through Co-operation in Scotland House . Guest speakers included participants from the Scottish Funding Council, University of the Highlands and Islands, Slovenia, Catalonia and the European Commission. Participants discussed different approaches in relation to collaboration and opportunities for better aligning national and regional research and innovation structures with European initiatives to achieve greater economic benefit. The feedback from this event will be used to inform a Scottish response to the Commission consultation.
SGEUO hosted a Burns Night concert in a packed out Scotland House for around 160 EU stakeholders. Traditional Scottish music and Burns' songs were performed by the exceptionally talented singer and musician Shona Donaldson, the world class fiddler Paul Anderson and accompanist Ali Napier. Guests were treated afterwards to a traditional supper of haggis, neeps and tatties followed by cranachan and washed down with a dram of whisky.
The Scottish Government EU Office (SGEUO) hosted a Burns Supper in honour of the current 'EU Trio' of presidencies. The evening was co-hosted by the UK Deputy Permanent Representative Andy Lebrecht and Donald Henderson, Director Europe and Head of Scottish Government EU Office. The traditional toasts and addresses were given by Ian Duncan (Scottish Parliament), the writer James Robertson, George Lyon MEP and Jane Ferrier (SGEUO). Guests also listened to poems by both Burns and Sandor Petofi (the Hungarian national poet) which were read by Gyula Hegyi from Commissioner Andor's Cabinet and Laszlo Szendrodi, the Hungarian Counsellor for research and innovation. Other guests included policy officials from Belgium, Hungary and Poland as well as Scottish and UK contacts.
The fifth instalment in the Scottish Writers Series featured James Robertson as guest author and poet. Mr. Robertson read from his latest book ' And the Land Lay Still' which won the 2010 Saltire Society Book of the Year. This was followed by a Q&A session. The event was chaired by Roland Gulliver, programme manager at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
In addition to the Scottish Writers Series event, James Robertson also visited the British School of Brussels on Monday where he conducted sessions with primary and secondary pupils about his novels and his work promoting the Scots language.
The fourth instalment in the Scottish Writers Series featured Jen Hadfield as guest poet. Ms. Hadfield has published two collections of poetry, one of which, Nigh-No-Place, won the prestigious T.S. Eliot Prize. Ms. Hadfield provided a reading of her works which was followed by a Q&A session. The event was chaired by Lilias Fraser from the Scottish Poetry Library.