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Edinburgh flies flag for its creative and tech sectors

Edinburgh has shone the spotlight on its capabilities as a hub for the Creative and Technology industries, with significant events in the city drawing leaders, experts and influencers in these sectors.

Amanda Ferguson, Head of Convention Edinburgh, said the Scottish capital is solidifying its position as a first-class destination for these sectors to meet and innovate: “Edinburgh is a place where innovation in creativity and technology is welcomed, celebrated and encouraged to thrive. The city has united in its strengths for the first time, bringing together private and public-sector partners, working collaboratively through the city’s DMO, which is making Edinburgh an even better place to host a conference than ever before.”

2018 saw the fourth Edinburgh International Culture Summit take place, attracting Culture Ministers, artists, thinkers and art leaders from around the world to share ideas, expertise and best practice. Opened by the UK Prime Minister and Scotland’s First Minister, the Summit welcomed delegates and speakers from countries such as China, Romania, USA and Italy, to look at policy ideas to promote cultural sectors and create a lasting impact.

The Summit was held during the Edinburgh International Festival, recognised as the leading curated festival of performing arts in the world. This year it featured 2,800 artists from 60 nations, welcoming audiences from more than 80 countries, with attendances exceeding 415,000.

Joanna Baker, Managing Director of Edinburgh’s International Festival, said: “Attracting artists and audiences in their hundreds of thousands from around the UK and all over world, the International Festival continues to thrive in promoting the cultural, social, educational and economic wellbeing of our city. Following our extensive 70th anniversary celebrations in 2017, this year continued to be remarkably successful as we sold 85% of our total available tickets whilst further cementing our major commitment to audience development and community outreach.”

Meanwhile, Edinburgh played a major part in the first ever FinTech Fortnight, a unique festival of conferences and meet-ups organised by FinTech Scotland in a bid to drive business creation and growth across Scotland’s growing financial technology sector.

Stephen Ingledew, CEO of FinTech Scotland, said: “Scotland is becoming an internationally recognised centre of excellence for FinTech. The first ever FinTech Fortnight saw delegates from across the globe visiting the city, to collaborate in what is a community-driven mix of events delivered by the very people who are innovating in this sector. For us, it’s about driving creativity and growth through inclusive collaboration, which can only be a good thing for FinTech, Edinburgh and Scotland as a whole.”

Edinburgh’s Creative and Technology sectors sit alongside four other economic sectors in Make it Edinburgh’s Centres of Excellence, including Life Sciences, Renewables, Education and Finance. These sectors have been earmarked as having significant development potential for the city. Hosting business events in these fields has been seen as a way to drive future collaborations, research funding, opportunities, investment and jobs – encouraging these sectors to flourish and enabling a legacy effect for the city.