Parliamentary Reception: Edinburgh Napier
Edinburgh Napier have a good track record of preparing their students for careers after academia. Their courses are designed in discussion with industry, and they actively support alumni to found businesses through the Bright Red Triangle incubators.
Napier considers collaboration with communities and local business central to the university’s research and student life. Partnerships with communities are essential to ensure that university projects and research are relevant in the real world. When this goes well it also helps make Edinburgh a better place for everyone.
The first Napier event at the Scottish Parliament was designed to celebrate projects that collaborate with Edinburgh communities. It was attended by a broad range of people from the university, public sector, private sector, third sector and local community.
After a wine and canapés reception we heard short speeches from Ben McPherson MSP; Sandra Cairncross, Assistant Principal, Edinburgh Napier; Nick Fannin, Head of Bright Red Triangle; and Dawn Smith, Public Engagement Officer, Edinburgh Napier.
The projects demonstrated were diverse and impressive – everything from conflict resistant architecture in the Middle East to a virtual reality puffin observatory. Projects to help refugees and deaf people. A local initiative to provide a one-stop shop for a deprived area in North Edinburgh to access any organisations they could need.
However I think the main achievement of this event was networking. Napier encouraged us to consider how they can work with participants, whether in their organisations or their communities. When you bring together a diverse group of highly achieving people in a nice place, so they can make new connections and share their experiences, there is a huge potential to create a positive impact on society. It’s nice to see the university taking a lead in instigating this, and the SNP making the event happen.
Taking photos at this event was a lot of fun – Holyrood is a beautiful location, and it’s nice to help ambitious projects showcase what they do best. If you would like photos for your event please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.