Scotland’s Blue Economy: Energy, Aquaculture, and Innovation

The marine sector accounts for a significant portion of the Scottish economy, feeding and formed by several sectors within society. From aquaculture and tourism to shipping and energy – getting planning right for this resource can have significant ramifications for both major industry and coastal communities. Join us as we explore how to nurture commercial growth and optimise each sector's development potential, considering the increasingly competitive demands facing these defining resources.

The event

With the value of Scottish landings at a record high and £2.5million funding announced for a new subsea testing centre of excellence, the wider blue economy is booming. Yet with so many industries intersecting, how can we ensure that progress is inclusive, innovative, and sustainable?


In association with

Key issues to be addressed

  • Priorities for the ocean’s resources – from community to innovation
  • How we can best ensure the blue economy stays green
  • The potential of and next steps for offshore energy
  • Maintaining Scotland as a byword for excellence in aquaculture


09:15 Registration and Refreshments

9:55 Welcome and Introduction by the Chair

James Green, Senior Policy Planner (Development and Marine Planning), Orkney Islands Council

10:00 Session 1: Policy and overview

  • The primary challenges facing marine planning and priorities around them
  • The competing demands on the ocean’s resources and its potential
  • Supporting the communities and industries of the blue economy

10:00 The Big Hitters in the Blue Economy

Dr Sandy Kerr, Director, International Centre for Island Technology

10:20 Brexit, Fishing and the Blue Economy – a Sea of Opportunity

Bertie Armstrong, Chief Executive Officer, Scottish Fishermen’s Federation

10:40 Questions and Discussion

11:00 Refreshments and Networking

11:30 Session 2: Sustainability and Growth

  • Meeting the needs of the coastal communities that rely on and support the blue economy: from infrastructure to investment
  • Balancing sustainability with economic optimisation – from blue carbon to Marine Protected Areas
  • Keeping sight of attraction alongside industry – priorities for tourism

11:30 Marine Spatial Planning in Scotland: Achieving Sustainable Economic Development

  • What is marine spatial planning?
  • Why is it important?
  • How does it link with land use planning?

Dr John McCarthy, Associate Professor in the School of Energy, Geoscience and Infrastructure, Heriot-Watt University

11:50 Professor John Baxter, Principal Adviser – Marine, Scottish Natural Heritage

12:05 An Introduction to the Town of Fraserburgh

  • Illustrating why fishing and tourism is of paramount importance to the economy of Fraserburgh

Ronnie McNab, Chairman, Fraserburgh Community Council

12:20 Questions and Discussion

12:40 The Dornoch Environmental Enhancement Project: Finding Multi-sector Win-wins in the Blue Economy

  • A collaborative project to reintroduce native European oysters into the Dornoch Firth
  • The benefits of reef restoration, to the environment and to the Glenmorangie Company
  • Collaborative working between academia, NGO’s and Industry

Dr Peter Nelson, Operations Director, Glenmorangie
Dr Bill Sanderson, Associate Professor of Marine Biodiversity, Heriot-Watt University

13:10 Questions and Discussion

13:30 Lunch and Networking

14:00 Session 3: Powering Innovation

  • The Scottish blue economy as a hot bed of world leading innovation and research
  • The role of subsea infrastructures and offshore engineering in driving forward the economy
  • The future of offshore energy

14:00 The Range of Possibilities of Scotland’s Blue Economy: The Role of Research

Professor Nicholas Owens, Director, The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS)

14:20 Maximising the Blue Economy of the Highlands & Islands

 Morven Cameron, Head of Universities, Education & Skills, Highlands and Islands Enterprise

14:40 The Offshore Wind Accelerator - Collaboration in a Competitive Market

  • Size matters - Introduction to offshore wind
  • How has the industry achieved the dramatic cost reduction
  • The Offshore Wind Accelerator, a collaborative R&D programme

 Jan Matthiesen, Director, The Carbon Trust

15:00 Questions and Discussion

15:30 Close of Event

*Agenda subject to change


NASUWT, 35 Young Street North Lane, Edinburgh | Map


Delegate rates (excluding VAT)

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  • Reduced rate: 1 place £245 + VAT | 2+ places £195 + VAT (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, police, professional associations and voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m)
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For more information please email or phone 0131 285 1635



19 October 2017
United Kingdom



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