Heriot-Watt University takes centre stage at World Expo Dubai 2020



Trade, Investment and Innovation Minister Ivan McKee meets students at Heriot-Watt Dubai campus

Heriot-Watt University is to showcase its research and innovation at one of the largest international events on the planet next year.

Known as the 'world's greatest show', World Expo is held every five years and lasts for around six months.

Next year, Dubai has been selected as the host nation where some 192 countries will be demonstrating the very best in new technology and in cutting-edge innovation.

Among them, for the first time, is Heriot-Watt University which is exhibiting its expertise in Artificial Intelligence and robotics as part of the UK pavilion.

The Scottish Government's Trade, Investment and Innovation Minister Ivan McKee MSP visited Dubai this week to learn more about the preparations for the World Expo and visited the Heriot-Watt Dubai campus to hear about the University's international research.

Acting Principal at Heriot-Watt University, Professor Julian Jones said: “As one of the top universities in the Middle East, I am extremely proud that Heriot-Watt is part of World Expo 2020 in Dubai. We will make a vibrant contribution to the UK Pavilion and the theme 'Innovating for a Shared Future', focusing on robotics and AI as they influence all spheres of life, from healthcare to smart construction.

“It is a privilege to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We will be showcasing our world-leading research, radical innovation and education programmes on an international platform, strengthening our partnership with businesses and governments, while demonstrating our commitment to global sustainability.”

Speaking after meeting with Heriot-Watt staff and students, Ivan McKee MSP said: “We want to demonstrate to the world that Scotland is an open, welcoming and inclusive nation, with huge potential for trade and investment. The World Expo 2020 provides the perfect platform to reach out to a global audience with those messages, as well as to build on our diplomatic and business connections.

“This is a real opportunity for Scotland's businesses, and I'm delighted that at this early stage one of the country's leading digital creativity organisations – Soluis Group – has been selected to help deliver this major event by providing digital modelling services for the Expo. More opportunities for Scottish businesses will arise as this project moves forward.

“There will be a strong representation from our academic sector, with Heriot-Watt University taking a lead in demonstrating why our country continues to punch above its weight in terms of research, innovation and academic strength.”

Partners from the business and academic sectors across Scotland, are also participating in the UK Pavilion.

Heriot-Watt opened its Dubai campus in 2005.  It now has almost 4000 students and earlier this year, received a prestigious five-star ranking from the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), the body responsible for the growth and quality of private education in Dubai

Expo 2020 launched on 20 October 2020 and runs until 10 April 2021.

For more information on World Expo 2020 visit - https://www.expo2020dubai.com/en

Susan Kerr

Communications Officer

T: 0131 451 3242

E: susan.kerr@hw.ac.uk