The importance to community and economic development of encouraging an active interest in science and technology is being highlighted at an international event taking place in Inverness today (Tuesday).
A European delegation, which is part of a major project to develop broader communication about science activity, is meeting with up to 40 Highlands and Islands business, academic and public agency representatives. The aim is to explore how to make science more relevant to people in their own communities and to stimulate discussion on plans for the creation of a European City of Scientific Culture.
One of the speakers at the event is HIE's Director of Regional Development Carroll Buxton. She will outline the strengths the Highlands and Islands already demonstrates.
"Science and technology touch every part of modern day living. As well as the benefits to the public of using new services in areas like healthcare, there are also huge economic opportunities to business. Creating an environment where research and development can flourish is a key part of progress.
"The Highlands and Islands is already home to a number of exciting initiatives - the Centre for Health Science where the event is being held today, science and technology ambassadors working with our school pupils, the European Marine Science Park in Argyll, and the Environmental Research Centre in Thurso, to name just a few. These projects have been developed by private business, other public sector partners and communities working together.
"By communicating better we are in a win win situation. We can help encourage young people's interest, grow educational facilities to allow them to train, develop the infrastructure to support development, and stimulate growth."