THE Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) has managed to secure a stand at Aqua Nor, the hugely over-subscribed aquaculture exhibition being held in Trondheim in August.
But SAIC CEO Heather Jones said her organisation is ‘very active in supporting a Scottish mission to Aqua Nor’ and in the absence of a Scotland pavilion this year, the stand will offer space to other Scottish companies.
The popularity of Aqua Nor in the aquaculture calendar means it is very much first come, first served with exhibition space, but SAIC was successful in booking a 20 square metre slot in the new Hall A.
‘The stand isn’t about SAIC, it’s about Scotland, it’s about the supply chain, it’s about the innovation, it’s about the research expertise and capability,’ Jones told Fish Farmer.
SAIC’s team of four will be complemented by representatives from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Scottish Development International (SDI).
‘The government is very keen that there is a ‘Team Scotland’ approach to international engagement,’ said Jones. ‘It’s our stand but we’re co-branding with their messaging.
‘SAIC sees it as our duty to work with other Scottish public bodies that would have liked to have been there, and therefore can be there in association with our stand.’
Crucially for Scottish companies and academics who had hoped for booths on a national pavilion, SAIC’s stand will operate as a ‘networking lounge’.
‘If any company is planning to be out in Aqua Nor and doesn’t have stand space, we would invite them to contact our events manager Hazel Peat (email@example.com).
‘She is organising a booking service if companies want to have a conversation with Norwegian companies.
‘There is nothing like having a physical presence and being there and having social networks and bumping into people and bringing people to the stand.
‘We’re offering that to all our consortium partners, academic and commercial. Scottish businesses have an opportunity to book a slot and meet people on the stand.’
SAIC will welcome Rural Economy minister Fergus Ewing to the stand and is also co-hosting a reception with Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture.
And Jones said they have been able to use their stand to access a VIP meeting room and, as a result, a Scottish supply chain seminar has been planned for the afternoon of Tuesday, August 20 – the opening day.
This will be led by SDI and supported by HIE and SAIC, with Ewing appearing as the keynote speaker. The rest of the Aqua Nor seminar programme is now on the exhibition’s website https://www.aqua-nor.no/programme-2019/?lang=en