Fuselab brings world’s young innovators to Edinburgh

Summerhall will host the majority of sessions for the project. Picture: TSPL
Summerhall will host the majority of sessions for the project. Picture: TSPL
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A GLOBAL team of young innovators is being recruited to work with scientists and business leaders in Scotland to plan the future of an as-yet-uninhabited world.

Fuselab project, a four-day paid for residential project to be held in Edinburgh, will “hothouse” 80 people aged 16-20 from fields such as science, art and engineering, and equip them with the skills needed to negotiate and put their strategies for the survival of the new planet, into action.

MSP Humza Yousaf has welcomed the announcement. Picture: Greg Macvean

MSP Humza Yousaf has welcomed the announcement. Picture: Greg Macvean

Applicants for Fuselab, launched by the Edinburgh International Science Festival (EISF) and supported by the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, have until 8 May to apply for places at the sessions based at Summerhall, Edinburgh’s newest creative arts and science hub.

Organisers said Fuselab pioneers will be challenged to “develop innovative approaches to a sustainable way of life, free from the constraints of the systems and structures currently utilised on Earth.”

In the process, they will learn how to challenge their thinking through workshops, skills sessions, talks and games, collaborating to design, prototype and test ideas.

Amanda Tyndall, deputy director of the EISF, which this year celebrated its 25th anniversary and attracted over 90,000 visitors, said “We need to equip young people with the skills, networks and confidence not only to survive but to thrive in a rapidly changing world.

“In helping our pioneers see how innovation can help build a better future, and to understand the role that they personally might play, Fuselab will do just that – helping unleash the potential of the next generation. “

Humza Yousaf, SNP MSP and minister for external affairs and international development, said “For a quarter of a century, the Edinburgh International Science Festival has informed, engaged and challenged the minds of visitors from Scotland and around the world, building on our strengths as a creative and innovative nation, from the enlightenment to the Higgs boson. This year’s excellent programme of events was no exception.

“It makes strong economic sense to support the Science Festival’s growth and to ensure that Scotland’s own emerging creative talent is placed at its centre. That is why I am proud to announce £110,000 to support young people to develop their skills and expertise here in Scotland through the Fuselab project. This takes the total Scottish Government Expo Funding awarded to the Science Festival to £562,000 since the Expo Fund began in 2008-09.”

The majority of sessions will be at Summerhall but some activities may take place at other venues around the city. Transport will be provided where appropriate.

Four nights’ single accommodation with shared bathroom will be provided at Edinburgh First, Pollock Halls.

Participants will be eligible for a bursary of up to £200 per person to cover travel to and from Edinburgh.

Fuselab participants will be able to draw upon the content of some of the sessions at the 2013 Science Festival for inspiration. These included Professor Dickson Despommier speaking on the future of vertical farming, Bas Lansdorp who invited his audience to apply to be the first new colonists on Mars in 2023, and Professor Mark Post who reported on the progress of his research to use stem cells to grow meat in the laboratory.

Three previous winners of the prestigious Edinburgh Medal, Chris Rapley, Colin Blakemore and Jocelyn Bell Burnell looked into the future and explored their dangerous ideas and the future of astronomy while the 25th Edinburgh Medal was awarded jointly, for the first time in its history, to Professor Peter Higgs and CERN.

• Fuselab is free of charge with meals and accommodation provided. To apply visit http://www.sciencefestival.co.uk/whats-on/fuselab