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18/19 In Review: Worldwide

Posted: 03 January 2020

Science knows no boundaries.

Alongside our UK based activity, Edinburgh Science also operates internationally. We work closely with a range of partners to bring our unique style of science engagement to a wide variety of projects and events. In 2019 we were delighted to collaborate on the following overseas projects.

Cyber Quest

Cyber Quest is an initiative of the UAE Signals Intelligence Agency (SIA), designed to encourage and motivate the next generation of cyber security professionals. The event is open to schools, universities and the public and combines a high-level capture the flag competition testing cyber security skills with a programme of wraparound interactive workshops.

We delivered a four-day cyber security training course to over 700 school and university students across five different cities in UAE in January 2018. We followed this up with additional online training, then selected the best students to attend a live Capture the Flag hacking competition in Dubai October 2018. We worked with a team of international experts to create two different professional-style competitions, one for attack and one for defence, and delivered all the hardware infrastructure to run the live event. In addition, we created and delivered 10 introductory workshops covering cyber security, blockchain, artificial intelligence, coding, lock picking and other related topics.

Abu Dhabi Science Festival

The Edinburgh Science Worldwide team kick-started 2019 with a return to the UAE to deliver the ninth edition of the Abu Dhabi Science Festival from 31 January until 9 February. We provided 51 items of international content spanning workshops, shows and interactive exhibits. Working alongside the core project team were 140 UK-based staff and 800 local staff and volunteer science communicators trained by Edinburgh Science.

The main venue was located at Al Bahar on the Corniche in Abu Dhabi, with satellite venues located at new locations at Al Jahili Park in Al Ain and City Mall in Al Dhafra. In total the Festival attracted 144,000 visitors over the 10 day run – an increase on 2017 and 2018 Festivals. Highlights included Show Lab, a new format of combined show and workshop for families; and Innovation Village, a collection of maker activities designed to link the international Festival content to the local Innovator stands showcasing students’ science projects.

Hefei Creative Park

In June 2019, Edinburgh Science Worldwide undertook some consultancy work with Fang Suo Commune – a creative agency and bookstore specialist based in Guangzhou, China. We worked in partnership with them to produce an initial feasibility report for an urban regeneration project to turn the former Hefei Prison site into a creative park. Hefei is the capital and largest city of Anhui Province and well known for its household appliance manufacturing industry.

The consultancy involved a five-day visit to Hefei to examine the strategic priorities for the city as set out by the Hefei Government and meet with project owners and key stakeholders. Our final report outlining key findings and suggested science, innovation and creative outputs was well received and we hope leads to future collaborations and UK-China creative exchange opportunities.


Since creating and organising the delivery of the Lema? education outreach project in 2013–14, the programme has continued to tour schools in the UAE with great success. This year Edinburgh Science Worldwide have stepped back in to produce a new medical show for the programme. The new show was piloted in September, going live in schools from October 2019.