Live event at the Royal Society of Edinburgh with Ivan McKee, MSP, Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise

On Friday, October 8 at the RSE in Edinburgh, Ivan McKee, MSP, Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise will present a keynote address ahead of the in-person launch of the report ‘Innovation Critical – Scotland’s Net Zero Mission and Climate Tech Opportunity’.

Produced by a partnership of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI), BT, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and ScotlandIS, the report outlines Scotland’s potential to be a leading innovator and exporter of technological solutions to climate change.

Read the full report on the SCDI website

Climate Tech is a global market with huge growth potential. The report found that Climate Tech represents a major strategic opportunity for the Scottish economy to create green jobs, raise productivity and boost exports, because of our people, our natural capital and our thriving ecosystem of Climate Tech start-ups and businesses.

This in-person launch will be an opportunity for government, key experts, innovators and leaders in Climate Tech to come together to identify challenges and opportunities for the sector, to explore the implementation of the ideas in Innovation Critical and to build consensus around potential actions and priorities.

Jane Wood, BT Group Nations and Regions Director, will open the event and be joined by Simon Haston, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, Regions and Devolved Nations, BT Group, to discuss BT’s exciting green recovery platform being pioneered with the University of Stirling.

Meanwhile, David Kelly, SCDI’s Policy Manager and the author of the report, will take the audience through the seven challenges for Climate Tech in Scotland and the report’s ten recommendations to deliver change.

Ivan McKee MSP will join a panel of expert speakers to discuss key issues raised and to answer questions from attendees alongside Dr Mark Dames, BT Group Senior Manager External Affairs, Scotland and Northern Ireland; Stephen Ingledew, Executive Chair, FinTech Scotland; Clare Rampen, Co-Founder, Reath, and Dr Jano van Hemert FRSE, Convener of the RSE Enterprise Fellowship Selection Committee.

Sara Thiam, CEO, SCDI, said: “Achieving global net-zero will be humankind’s greatest innovation challenge – but it also represents a significant economic opportunity for Scotland in the year of COP26 in Glasgow. Digital technologies being developed by Scottish start-ups are providing effective solutions to decarbonisation problems in all sectors of the economy.

“With the right funding and support to nurture our burgeoning ecosystem, we believe Climate Tech could be Scotland’s next FinTech – an exciting, fast-growing sector of the future economy that creates quality jobs and boosts exports, innovation and productivity.

“We hope that the Scottish Government will launch a new national innovation mission – or ‘Climate Tech Moonshot’ – to take forward our ideas to help close the investment and skills gaps as well as accelerate new models of innovation.”

Stephen Ingledew, Executive Chair, FinTech Scotland said: “Actions are required now to address the climate emergency and the ‘talk’ must be translated into a ‘walk’ through experimental innovation, collaborative initiatives and a forward-looking, inclusive mindset. The impactful leadership of SCDI in driving forward the net-zero opportunities through climate tech is a terrific example of this and one that FinTech Scotland will actively contribute to.”

Jane Wood, BT Group Nations and Regions Director, said: “Scotland is ideally placed to take advantage of new and emerging technologies to help tackle the challenge of climate change.

“Technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence and data analytics offer huge opportunities to help cut carbon in our daily lives. While digital technology is just one part of the solution, it’s vital that it plays a central role in the major climate discussions to come.”

Dr Jano van Hemert FRSE, Convener of the RSE Enterprise Fellowship Selection Committee, said: “Scotland is a nation of entrepreneurs and innovators and we should seize the opportunity to become a major hub for climate tech which will not only create jobs but bring substantial benefits to the people of Scotland and beyond.

“As somebody who has commercialised research, I know that there are substantial opportunities for technology in Scotland if researchers, business, government, the wider public sector and citizens all work together. This report clearly outlines the case for this”.

Karen Meechan, CEO of ScotlandIS, said: “We are pleased to support this valuable piece of work on Climate Tech which is an imperative area of focus. We look forward to the discussions ahead and, together with the support of industry, academia and government, will strive to nurture a successful ecosystem with the opportunities that Scotland’s growing tech sector has to offer.”

View the full release and register to attend