Upcoming Activities


The Research and Innovation Landscape in Scotland is packed full of exciting activities and events which are driven from across industry, the NHS, government agencies and the education sector.  Interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral activity is key to economic growth and societal benefit and your research and development is fundamental to driving that forward. Look out for the RIS logo marking activities being led by the Scottish Research Pools.

To showcase your organisations upcoming activities, please contact us

All of our events follow the principles laid out in our Equality and Diversity Policy.

COP26 RIS Activities

Led by: Various members of Research Innovation Scotland

Date: Ongoing

Activity Summary: The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) will be held in Glasgow on 1st – 12th November 2021. The Research Pools, Innovation Centres and Interface are all working on numerous interdisciplinary and cross-cutting activities in the build-up to COP26. Keep an eye on our dedicated COP26 RIS Activities page to stay up to date and get involved!

Scottish Research Innovation Futures Workshop Series

Led by: Various members of Research Innovation Scotland in collaboration with KTN

Date: Various dates in 2021

Activity Summary: A challenge-focused workshop series, organised by Research Innovation Scotland in collaboration with KTN. 

This series aims to take a closer look at key challenge areas and understand how collaborative research and innovation can contribute to overcoming them in Scotland’s mission to build back better.

The first workshop for each challenge theme will be a closed event with a cross-sectoral audience and serve as a scoping exercise. Further activities will follow with opportunities for more open engagement so please do register interest in any of the themes you would be keen to hear more about.

Inclusive Innovation: Cairn Housing Association and University of Edinburgh

Led by: Interface

In collaboration with: Community Enterprise in Scotland

Target Audience: Researchers and social enterprises wishing to collaborate

Date: Thursday 21st October 2021 at 11:00 – 11:45am

Activity Summary: Join Meg Deasley, Cairn Housing Association, and Dr Kate Carter, University of Edinburgh to hear how they worked together as part of the Scottish Federation of Housing Association Innovation Community.

You will hear about the collaborative work focused on digital data, buildings and people. This started with mapping the ‘life of boiler’ and evolved to a wider understanding of the data landscape within the social housing sector. University of Edinburgh researchers helped to build this map which has informed a wider systems review within Cairn HA. It has provided a framework for understanding how incremental changes can work toward improving digital asset management activities.

Contact: Suzy Powell, Interface suzy.powell@interface-online.org.uk


Scotland's Contribution to COP26: a joined-up Just Transition

Led by: The Herald in collaboration with over 20 organisations from across Scotland (including RIS members)

Date: Tuesday 26th October 2021 

Target Audience: Open to all

Activity Summary: A special, one-day, online conference on Scotland’s transition to net zero – Scotland’s contribution to COP26: a joined-up Just Transition. The event will not only examine the speed and scale at which Scotland must move to tackle climate change, but also ensure that no-one is left behind in the process. As Scotland gets ready to welcome world leaders to Glasgow for the COP26 Summit, the conference spotlights Scotland’s efforts in tackling climate change to achieve net zero carbon emissions. These efforts also have benefits and opportunities to create a wealthier, healthier, and more equal society.

This free, one-day conference will look at important just transition themes such as skills, circular economy, empowering young people, improving health outcomes and delivering sustainable economic growth to the Scottish economy.

Contact: Kirsty Loughlin, Events Manager – kirsty.loughlin@newsquest.co.uk

Inclusive Innovation: NjordFrey and the University of West of Scotland

Led by: Interface

In collaboration with: Community Enterprise in Scotland

Target Audience: Researchers and social enterprises wishing to collaborate

Date: Thursday 28th October 2021

Activity Summary: Join Faisal Razzag, Business Director of NjordFrey, and Professor John Struthers, UWS, to hear about their successful project grant application. About this event:

Join Faisal Razzaq, Business Director of NjordFrey, and Professor John Struthers, University of West of Scotland and Director of Centre for African Research on Enterprise and Economic Development (CAREED).

Hear how Interface matched them both, before going on to successfully apply for a £300k grant to develop a Digital Health Monitoring System for Rwandan farms to improve food security in the developing world.

Contact: Suzy Powell, Interface suzy.powell@interface-online.org.uk

Dive-In! Protecting Our Ocean

Led by: University of St Andrews; MASTS

Target Audience: General Public

Date: 8th October 2021 – 30th January 2022

Activity Summary: Dive In takes visitors to explore the importance of the ocean, threats it faces, and the changes we can make for ocean health and climate stability. This is public engagement, but also an experiment in methods and collaborations for behavioural change. Expertise has been drawn from the Museums of the University of St Andrews, environmental psychology and behavioural change experts, the Scottish Oceans Institute and the People Ocean Planet initiative.

Contact:Chris Leakey, MASTS – cdbl1@st-andrews.ac.uk

Inclusive Innovation: Hospitality, Food and Catering

Led by: Interface

In collaboration with: Community Enterprise in Scotland

Target Audience: Researchers and industry wishing to collaborate

Date: Thursday 4th November 2021 at 11:00 – 11:45am

Activity Summary: Join Mairi McCallum, Moray FoodPlus, and Malcolm Clark, Moray College, UHI to hear how they worked together to secure funding and develop an AI system for identifying rural poverty trends to help combat food poverty.

You will learn how Mairi McCallum’s (Moray FoodPlus) drive to help combat food poverty in Moray led her to contact Interface and partner with Malcolm Clark (Moray College, UHI) where they created an AI system allowing employees to add data, identify trends, and food bank usage from the collected data along with their plans to share their knowledge with independent food banks across Scotland.

Contact: Suzy Powell, Interface suzy.powell@interface-online.org.uk

Synthetic Biology Approaches to ‘Unnatural’ Natural Products

Led by: SULSA, Scot-CHEM, IBioIC and SAIC

In collaboration with: KTN

Date: TBC – Autumn 2021

Target Audience: Academics, Industry and Public Health

Activity Summary: The RIS Natural Products team (see our case study) have been active this year developing two workshops and a networking event for early 2021. Our 2 workshops will run as part of the IBioIC/KTN Bioeconomy Cluster Builder and be focused on Industry Challenges, representatives from academia, business and NHS are all welcome.

If you are from the industry sector, we are interested to hear what you think the key challenges are – help us by completing our online form.

Register your interest in this workshop.

Contact: Alison.Dun@glasgow.ac.uk 

NMIS Insights Online – Develop Your Knowledge, Enhance Your Skills And Be Inspired

Led by: National Manufacturing Institute Scotland

Date: Multiple dates in 2021

Activity Summary: The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) is a group of industry-led manufacturing research and development facilities transforming skills, productivity and innovation in Scotland helping to make the country a global leader in advanced manufacturing. The need to engage with key technology developments and the wider industrial landscape is more important now than ever before for those in the manufacturing and engineering community.

Join our NMIS Insights webinars as we continue to support and inspire employers and employees alike with our series of technology-briefings, brought to you by our world-class team of engineers, researchers and industry partners. Each webinar has the team delving into a different key manufacturing technology, often with input from companies and subject-matter experts from across industry, academia and public sector. 

Contact: nmis-enquiries@strath.ac.uk

Energy Innovation Emporium Webinar Series 2021

Led by: ETP

In collaboration with: WES; SRUC; CS-IC; ESC; OREC; SULSA; ZWS; ScotCHEM; SRPe; NMIS;  DataLab; MASTS; SG; SFC

Date: Multiple dates from May – October 2021

Target Audience: Funders; Policy Makers; Academics and Innovators; Industry/End users; both at home and abroad

Activity Summary: This series of webinars will use COP26 as a springboard to greater collaboration and investment, especially international. It will inform the global energy community how Scottish R&I can help deliver carbon emission reduction targets, especially around Nationally Determined Contributions, to encourage collaborative activity between Scottish academic research base and external parties.

Learn more: ERAF Emporium Series 2021

Contact: stephenmark.williams@strath.ac.uk

SAGES Stories: Scottish Science for a Climate Ready Future

Led by: SAGES

Date: January – October 2021

Target Audience: Lay Audience (Adults + Families)

Activity Summary: A diverse and exciting online events series showcases the breadth of scientific research across Scotland launches in January 2021. In the run up to COP26, SAGES are organising free monthly events to engage adults and families across the UK and beyond. From Arctic sea ice to Highland peatlands, members will share pioneering, positive stories of how researchers work together to understand our world and provide solutions to the climate emergency.

Contact: Hannah@mercurious.scot

DataFest 2021

Led by: The Data Lab

Target Audience: Open to all

Date: Three themed weeks of DataFest activities throughout the year with the Data Summit taking place on Wednesday 24th November 2021

Activity Summary: DataFest21 will run from March to November 2021. Following the launch event, there will be three themed weeks of DataFest activities throughout the year, and the festival will culminate with Data Summit.

Our Future’ will tackle cutting-edge technologies and innovative uses of AI and our data.
Our People’ will focus on the social and wellbeing aspects of our data use
Our Planet’ will cover environmental and climate change themes and how our data can help to shape the future of the planet.

The overarching theme of #OurData will be explored to spark discussion about how we, as data users and as a community, can use data for good to help solve or ease the world’s problems.

Data Summit will be a one-day event, taking place on Wednesday 24th November. We hope to bring you a hybrid (part virtual, part live) event, but this will depend on the restrictions in place at the time. We are making some exciting plans to bring you speakers picked from the biggest names in the data science community. Watch this space for announcements or register to receive future updates.

Contact: datafest@thedatalab.com

Blue Carbon II – International Conference

Led by: St Andrews, Marine Scotland, Glenmorangie, SAGES

Date: 12-13th November 2021

Target Audience: Science & Policy Practitioners

Activity Summary: The Conference will gather an international audience (including COP26 delegates) to participate in a series of plenary sessions and workshops, addressing scientific and policy-facing issues, to address Blue Carbon developments in the context of the Global Climate Emergency. The meeting will include policy and science talks, workshops and discussions to highlight current best practice as well as emerging opportunities going beyond the current frameworks, challenges and threats to Blue Carbon.

Contact: bluecarbon@st-andrews.ac.uk

COP26 Face the Facts: the faces behind Scotland’s Climate Science


Date: December 2020 – November 2021

Target Audience: Lay audience

Activity Summary: The Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scottish Science Advisory Council and Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society, are collaborating to help highlight Scottish research and science and its contribution to understanding and tackling climate change. A broad range of researchers and practitioners in Scotland whose work relates to the Earth’s climate are being interviewed and we will publish new videos every month in the lead up to COP26.

The Coffee Break @ RIS

Led by: SICSA and ScotCHEM

In collaboration with: All Research Pools

Target Audience: Any researcher (academic, postdoc, PhD student) from any of the RIS Research Pools and Innovation Centres

Date: Ongoing

Activity Summary: Join us again for another Coffee Break @ RIS, an on-going opportunity to participate in short, informal online conversations with researchers in other disciplines from across Research Innovation Scotland. Working across disciplines is notoriously difficult in ordinary circumstances. Currently, we don’t have those opportunities for fortuitous encounters that happen in the coffee break – the kind of conversations that can, just sometimes, lead to something really interesting.

To minimise the impact on time, each one-to-one meet up lasts just 15 minutes. The RIS team will coordinate the matching of participants from across disciplines and scheduling of meeting time and online meeting rooms. We don’t place any expectations on these conversations…it is simply an introduction!

To participate, just fill out the very short application form.

So far this initiative has welcomed 76 participants requesting more than 130 meetings. Some of the feedback from these meetings includes:

  • “Excellent initiative and opportunity”
  • “This is my second coffee break and I really enjoyed both chats about research background/sharing experience. Brilliant!”
  • “Interesting chat, there may be some overlap to explore, we’ve left follow-up open; but I can also see cross-over with my colleagues’ work even if less directly with mine, so there may be some direct impact.”

Contact: SICSA KE Director (on behalf of RIS) Timothy.Storer@glasgow.ac.uk

Innovation support for Scottish SMEs from SCOUT Project

Led by: Centre for Process Innovation (CPI)

In collaboration with: European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), managed by Scottish Enterprise, CMAC Future Manufacturing Research Hub (CMAC) and the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre, (IBioIC).

Date: Ongoing

Activity Summary: The SCOUT Project, over the next 3 years, will bring together the strong technical expertise and facilities of CPI together with CMAC and IBioIC, to support SMEs (operating in high-value chemical or biochemical supply chains) with business growth through innovation challenges, generating new ideas, partnerships and revenues, helping to accelerate the delivery of disruptive technology to the market.

Contact: via website

Converge KickStart Challenge

Led by: Converge

Date: Begins Tuesday 26th January

Activity Summary: The Kickstart Challenge is a national programme open to all students, recent graduates and staff across all Scottish Universities and Research Institutes. Delivered by Converge, Scotland’s largest company creation programme for the Higher Education sector, the programme is aimed at early-stage, innovative projects embarking on the first steps of the commercialisation journey. Successful applicants benefit from expert business training and hands-on support. We also have £15,000 of prizes up for grabs!

Contact: Georgia.goodall@convergechallenge.com



Led by: Digital Health & Care Innovation Centre

In collaboration with: Scottish Government, HIE, NHS NSS, NHS Highland, NHS Grampian, NHS Western Isles, Medtronic UK, Corporate Health International, University of Aberdeen, University of Strathclyde

Date: Ongoing

Target Audience: Public sector, Commercial Industry, Academia, Citizens

Activity Summary: An integral part of the national redesign of outpatient gastroenterology services, enabling early and effective screening in the community, avoiding unnecessary hospital referrals and travel. The new innovative SCOTCAP service delivery model is adopted as part of the Covid-19 remobilisation plans for Endoscopy Services, not only benefiting NHS Scotland but the wider Life Sciences Community, generating economic growth and jobs for Industry/ SME’s based in remote/ rural regions in Scotland.

Contact: grant.reilly@dhi-scotland.com


CENSIS Conversations: Climate Change and COP26 Video

Led by: CENSIS

In collaboration with: Glasgow City Council, Scottish Enterprise

Activity Summary: A panel discussion exploring climate change and COP26 covering:

– How decisions made at COP will affect businesses and organisations in every market sector, and what they can do to respond
– Scotland’s COP mobilisation strategy
– Glasgow City and COP26
– How IoT, innovation and collaboration can help address climate change

Contact: sian.williams@censis.org.uk


ERDF Scout Project

Led by: Scottish Enterprise, Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), CMAC Future Manufacturing Research Hub (CMAC) and the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC).

Activity Summary: Benefit from this structured diagnostic business tool designed to help companies understand where they sit in the innovation continuum and identify actions to bring your innovation closer to commercialisation. The ERDF funded SCOUT project helps SMEs in Scotland to address innovation challenges. The project is delivered in partnership with CMAC and IbioIC.