The International Centre for Island Technology (ICIT) won our special Public Engagement Award for the Year of the Sea. 

ICIT, based on our Orkney Campus, work at the cutting edge of research and teaching in marine science and renewable energy development.

Throughout the themed year they planned and delivered a series of special events to mark the work that ICIT, and Heriot-Watt more generally, do in terms of ocean research and the emerging ‘Blue Economy’. 

As well as hosting two conferences (the European Conference on Scientific Diving, and the 3rd International Conference on the Environmental Impacts of Marine Renewable Energy), they also extended their already strong presence at the Orkney International Science Festival.  Here they gave public lectures on topics such as the Blue Economy, Blue Carbon, and Sustainable Fisheries in Orkney; engaged all ages with interactive science projects at the Family Day event; and jointly organised the highly successful exhibition of Luke Jerram’s artwork ‘Museum of the Moon’, which attracted over 6,000 visits in 10 days. 

The award also recognises ICIT’s collaborative work with local fishers in the development of a science based Fisheries Improvement Plan thereby helping to secure both financial and ecological sustainability for the fishing industry in Orkney. 

The £1000 prize money will be used to extend ICIT’s engagement with local schools – in particular training young people in the art of film making to capture the interesting world of marine science.