Scotland’s capital will host the esteemed 6th World One Health Congress on 15-18 June 2020, following a successful competitive bid process against other European cities.
The event, which will deliver an estimated £3.3m into the local economy, reinforces Edinburgh’s position as one of the world’s leading hubs for medical and health expertise. This is a momentous win for Convention Edinburgh, Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC), the city’s medical and veterinary community and for Scotland as a country.
One Health is an international movement that aims to attain optimal health and well-being for people, domestic animals, wildlife and the environment, by bringing together various disciplines to make a difference to the lives of people and animals, society and the environment. One Health aims to enhance understanding of and preparedness for current and future outbreaks of infectious diseases in humans and animals, such as Ebola, including the ecological and environmental factors which drive these diseases.
Over 2,000 participants will attend the four-day event, which will be held at the EICC, presenting the opportunity to showcase Scotland’s health sector expertise and resource to a worldwide audience. Scotland’s strong Higher Education sector continues to deliver world class research, which is helping to deliver solutions to global challenges within livestock industries and both veterinary and human medicine.
The Congress will aim to support the careers of promising researchers from resource-challenged countries through the One Health Fellowship fund, providing the opportunity for young One Health advocates to apply for a unique opportunity to interact with world experts, gain further insights into their fields of interest and get inspired with new ideas and possibilities.
Professor Anna Meredith and Dr Neil Anderson were key members of the bid team. Professor Meredith, University of Edinburgh, said:
“We are thrilled to host the Sixth World One Health Congress in Edinburgh in 2020, welcoming international health scientists and professionals, opinion leaders and policy makers from the One Health community to Scotland’s capital. As a global facing university, we have vibrant One Health and global health partnerships nationally and internationally, and we look forward to showcasing the work of Scotland’s world-leading collective of research institutes, and engaging with other stakeholders to improve the health of people, animals and the environment.”
Dr Neil Anderson, Programme Director MSc One Health and MVetSci Conservation at the University of Edinburgh, added:
“The implementation of One Health requires a paradigm shift in how we manage the health of people, animals, plants and the ecosystems which support them. The conference will provide an ideal platform to discuss the practical implementation of One Health across the research, policy and practice arenas.
In addition, Scotland’s community of professionals will connect with leading industry experts from across the world, fostering a collaborative and global approach to research, learning, innovation and investment.”
Amanda Ferguson, Head of Conventions for Marketing Edinburgh, said:
“It is an honour for Edinburgh to be confirmed as host destination for this prestigious event. The capital is renowned for its expertise in the health, environmental and life sciences sectors, as illustrated in our Make it Edinburgh campaign, and we welcome the opportunity to welcome experts from across the world to enable potentially life changing collaboration.
The positive impact of the congress will stretch beyond the event itself, fostering ongoing relationships, research and innovation, and creating a legacy effect which we’re proud to have helped facilitate.”
The Scottish Government, who supported Convention Edinburgh on the bid, is at the forefront in developing integrated policies spanning health, agriculture, food, and environment. John Swinney MSP Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, said:
“Scotland and Edinburgh have a longstanding track record for excellence and innovation in research and development on animal and human health and well-being. Hosting the 6th World One Health Congress in 2020 will help further our reputation as a global leader in medicine, animal health, technology and the life sciences and will put Scotland and Edinburgh firmly at the heart of policy and research development in this key issue.”
On behalf of One Health Platform (OHP):
“Stakeholders from around the globe will be invited to Edinburgh by the One Health Platform and the Scottish leaders in One Health to join us for four days of lectures, debates, workshops and symposia on One Health” - Prof. John Mackenzie, OHP co-chair who graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a BSc(Hons) in Animal Genetics.
Finally, the EICC commented that:
“The World One Health Congress is highly-respected within the international health community, where it takes a pioneering approach to global health threats and the development of effective medicines. We went head-to-head with a number of other major European cities to win the conference for Edinburgh, with the reputation of Scotland's capital as a centre for excellence in life sciences, and our city’s collaborative approach, helping to secure the bid. The EICC has a strong track record in attracting some of the largest conferences in the field of health to Edinburgh and we look forward to hosting this significant event in June 2020” - Marshall Dallas, Chief Executive of the EICC.
World health underpins the focus of the One Health organisation and Edinburgh’s vibrant Health sector is showcased in not only the Make it Edinburgh campaign, but the VisitScotland Campaign, which celebrates and promotes Scotland’s strongest sectors in the business tourism industry.