Hyperloop first topic of revived EICC talk sessions

The venue has since its 1995 debut helped to deliver �600 million-plus into the local economy. Picture: contributed.
The venue has since its 1995 debut helped to deliver �600 million-plus into the local economy. Picture: contributed.
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Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) is relaunching its free public talks as it seeks to inspire ideas that “change the world”.

The rebranded sessions debut at the venue next month as EICC Live, and in focus in the first talk is Hyperloop, a futuristic mass transport concept attributed to technology entrepreneur Elon Musk that has links to the University of Edinburgh. The Hyped team from the university was founded in 2015, and is dedicated to accelerating research and development into Hyperloop in the UK.

The EICC Live Hyperloop public talk takes place on Tuesday, 4 June, while September will see Women in Tech coming to the venue.

The conference centre’s public talks started in 2016 as Innovation Nation, celebrating top innovation in Scotland. Previous lectures have featured the likes of social enterprise, the arts, robotics, space and sports endurance – with more than 1,000 people attending adventure cyclist Mark Beaumont’s Q&A in 2017.

The venue’s chief executive, Marshall Dallas, said: “It’s our mission at the EICC to create an environment which inspires ideas that change the world and events like the Hyperloop public talk that kicks off our new EICC Live series, as well as the TEDSummit which will take place here in July, play their part in turning our vision into reality.”

Ahead of speaking at EICC Live Hyperloop, Gonzalo Gil, propulsion project manager and soon-to-be technical director, said: “Hyperloop is a relatively simple idea that has the potential to change mass transport, rearrange human geography, and set some intriguing technical challenges such as levitation and vacuum environments. Hyped is a student group pushing for it to be implemented in the UK. It’s the type of thing we’d expect from a future civilisation, and we’ve taken on the challenge ourselves.”

The design of prototype Poddy the Second, which will be on display at EICC Live on 4 June, is described as a “milestone” in the development of scalable Hyperloop prototypes.

The EICC is owned by the City of Edinburgh Council and operates at arm’s length as an independent commercial venture.