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The first joint conference between The International Conference on Mechanisms of Action of Nutraceuticals (ICMAN) and the International Union of Pharmacology (IUPHAR) Natural Products Section will bring their biennial meetings to Aberdeen from 27-29 September 2017.

The conference will bring together leading academic and clinical researchers from the drug discovery and nutrition fields to Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) to discuss the common challenges and approaches that face them in the development of novel nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals derived from natural sources

In addition to the main conference themes, a series of lunchtime workshops will take place throughout the conference, focusing on some important issues in the industry including regulatory requirements and health claims, social responsibility and sustainability of exploiting natural resources.

The joint conference is set to attract around 400 delegates from around the world and was secured by Robert Gordon University (RGU) and the University of Aberdeen with additional support from TeamAberdeen, a collaboration of expertise from Aberdeen City and Shire Council, AECC, Aberdeen International Airport, RGU, The University of Aberdeen and VisitAberdeen, to secure high profile conferences for the city. TeamAberdeen support by helping with conference organisation, sourcing hotel accommodation, identifying superb venues and support in the management of conference budgets. The event received subvention funding from VisitAberdeen which was match funded by VisitScotland’s Conference Bid Fund.

Joint Conference Chair, Professor Cherry Wainwright from RGU, "While the use of natural products from terrestrial and marine sources has been vital to the discovery of new drugs and nutritional supplements for centuries, the availability of new technologies to understand how they can provide health benefits has resulted in the exploitation of natural products going through a renaissance.  The discovery processes for identifying novel drug entities and nutraceuticals share a lot of common ground and there is significant potential for drugs derived from natural products to be used alongside nutraceuticals for greater health benefits.

By bringing two scientific communities together at this biennial meeting, we will help identify where they can join to open new avenues of collaboration and innovation. We are delighted ICMAN and IUPHAR have chosen Aberdeen as the venue for the unique conference as it reflects the expertise in both nutraceutical and natural product drug discovery research that exists within the two Universities in the city. It is also highly relevant to the City Region Deal, which includes funding for the development of a Biopharmaceutical Innovation Hub."

Vice Chair of IUPAR Natural Products Section, Valeria Schini-Kerth commented, “Bringing together experts from the nutraceutical and pharmacology fields allows them to combine their efforts in developing novel and promising targeted disease management, in addition to launching new therapies based on both, traditional drug development and new insights, brought about by innovative nutraceuticals and natural products.”

Sales Manager at AECC, Steven Daun, said: “Welcoming this joint conference to Aberdeen is another great addition to our conference calendar and is an achievement which allows us to showcase the research available in the city and the expertise at hand in the field.”

North-east craft beer firm, BrewDog will be bringing its Annual General Meeting (AGM) to Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre’s (AECC) GE Oil & Gas Arena this Saturday (9th April).

This year will mark the fifth year that the brewers have held their AGM at AECC, growing the meeting from an attendance of 2000 to an expected 6000 craft beer and music lovers due to descend on the venue once again to hear all the latest news from company Captains, James Watt and Martin Dickie whilst being entertained by some of Scotland’s leading music acts.

The local craft beer firm, which began its journey in Fraserburgh in 2007, is an alternative small business owned by thousands of people who love craft beer through its share platform; Equity For Punks, which first launched in 2010 giving fans the chance to proudly own a piece of the success. Since the platform launched the firm has recruited an army of more than 35,000 Equity Punks and raised more than £20million. The latest of the platforms, Equity Punks IV opened in April 2015 raising £15million so far and is due to close this month, making this AGM the ultimate way to end the world’s most successful crowd funding venture to date. The company states that the Punk Army “They are our shareholders, our friends, our community and the heart and soul of our business.”

James Watt, cofounder at BrewDog commented: “I’m psyched to be back at AECC this year for #PunkAGM2016. It’s a great space and we’ve packed it to the rafters with epic food vendors, awesome bands and some of the most incredible craft breweries from across planet Earth. Bring it on!”

Senior Sales Manager at AECC,  Anna Mackenzie said: “We have seen the AGMs grow year on year and the buzz that the event creates is so contagious not only for the venue but for the city . What BrewDog has created is something that Aberdonians can be proud of and it’s one more reason to #LoveAberdeen.”

The team at Aubrey Park Hotel are celebrating following their AA hotel inspection last Thursday, where they received an AA Rosette for their food in the Brasserie Restaurant and also improved on their 4 star hospitality rating. The hotel inspector anonymously booked a room for the night and reviewed every aspect of the business; from check-in, the atmosphere, bedrooms, service, and of course the food. 

The hotel’s Head Chef, Lee Robinson was very happy to hear the news, explaining that ‘We’re really passionate about the food we serve at Aubrey Park Hotel. We’re proud to have such a strong team and the Rosette only recognises the hard work that all our team do on a daily basis. I am proud to be heading up this great team.’

In the report, the hotel inspector commented on how their ‘hospitality was excellent with great performances in all their departments.’ He made special note of their receptionists Kata and Serena and also the front of house members Akos, Flo and Hussain, as he says ‘Everyone played their part in creating a welcoming and guest focused environment.’

The hotel’s Managing Director, David Timmis is delighted with the news, ‘I’m really glad to hear that we achieved an AA Rosette for our food and improved our four star rating, all my team are wonderful and they deserve the recognition. This is great news as we’re further developing our hotel with the new conference and events venue; these awards are further proving that we’re growing stronger every day.’

The HBAA announces that Amy Dixon, Head of MICE Sales, Macdonald Hotels & Resorts, has been appointed chair of its Sustainability committee. Until recently, sustainability was combined with technology and innovation and Dixon now chairs the committee in its own right.

The Sustainability committee will support the HBAA’s 2016 Back to Basics initiative by championing the HBAA’s 2016/17 charity of choice, Brigade, providing a HBAA voice on sustainable issues for the association, the hospitality industry and the corporate world.

Amy Dixon says, “I am really delighted to be chairing the sustainability committee.  We have got a great year ahead with some worthwhile events that will support our chosen charity, Brigade.  I am also really excited about the environmental issues we will be tackling and the support we aim to bring to member businesses in helping them achieve environmental efficiency and social engagement working in tandem to create long-term development.  In particular the committee is also aiming to create an accreditation or kite mark scheme for sustainable venues and events.”

Dixon and the committee are focused on the 2016 and 2017 objectives, which include the launch of ‘Venue to Hostel Support scheme’ and the new programme of “Come Dine with Us” events.

HBAA Chair Leigh Cowlishaw, director of supplier partnerships at Capita Travel and Events, comments, “The HBAA is delighted to be working in collaboration with Brigade for 2016 and 2017 and the Sustainability committee will be instrumental in ensuring that the association and its members do all we can to support them by raising funds and awareness.  The Executive committee is also looking forward to supporting the Sustainability committee on its environmental objectives, in particular the Comparison chart which will review sustainability practice currently available among venue members.”

The Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Foundation and The Meetings Show have formed an exciting new partnership that will bring the Foundation’s signature networking and fundraising event, Rendezvous, to London for the first time. The event will be a key part of The Meetings Show’s networking calendar when it takes place on 14 June from 21:00 to 01:00 at Under the Bridge, Chelsea, the award-winning music venue located in West London.

The MPI Foundation’s Rendezvous has long been held annually in conjunction with MPI events around the world including its World Education Congress (WEC) and European Meetings and Events Conference (EMEC). Funds raised from the networking events are invested in scholarships, grants and pan-industry research – all of which help secure the future success of the meeting and event industry.  Proceeds from Rendezvous at The Meetings Show will directly benefit European projects within the meetings and events industry.

“We have been looking for strategic opportunities to globally expand the MPI Foundation’s Rendezvous brand. London is one of the world’s most vibrant and exciting cities, making it an ideal destination to start broadening the reach of our signature event,” said Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO of MPI. “In addition, partnering with The Meetings Show provides an excellent opportunity to showcase Rendezvous with an established and well-respected industry event, benefitting the MPI community across Europe.”

The networking event is traditionally held at popular venues with great music, dancing and more, and is open to all meeting and event professionals. Tickets for Rendezvous at The Meetings Show are priced at £50 each, and proceeds will benefit the MPI Foundation in Europe. The sponsors for the event include The Meetings Show, London & Partners, VisitBritain, VisitEngland and VisitScotland.

“When the MPI Foundation approached us about this partnership, it was immediately clear that it was a perfect fit. As the UK’s premier event for the international meetings industry we have the widest range of domestic exhibitors as well as those coming from Europe and beyond to meet with buyers from the UK and more than 20 European countries,” comments Steve Knight, The Meetings Show’s Event Director. “This partnership allows us to support not just the MPI UK and Ireland Chapter but chapters across Europe, benefiting the whole of our community. Money raised will go toward the MPI Foundation in Europe to be spent within Europe on projects including research, scholarships and education – all causes that we are passionate about and see as vital to the continued growth of the meetings industry.”

More information and the opportunity to purchase tickets will soon be available at or

About The Meetings Show

Organised by Centaur Live (a division of Centaur Media Plc), The Meetings Show is the premier event for the UK inbound and outbound meetings industry, taking place 14-16 June, 2016 at Olympia, London. Organised by meeting professionals for meeting professionals it is focused around a large exhibition, networking opportunities and professional education.

About the MPI Foundation

The Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Foundation fuels the growth and advancement of MPI members by providing professional development and career opportunities through grants and scholarships. The not-for-profit organization also propels the meeting and event industry forward by funding important and quality research initiatives. For more information, visit

About MPI

Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is the largest and most vibrant global meeting and event industry association. The organization provides innovative and relevant education, networking opportunities and business exchanges, and acts as a prominent voice for the promotion and growth of the industry. MPI membership includes approximately 18,500 members belonging to more than 80 chapters and clubs in 22 countries. For additional information or to join, visit

Warwick Conferences, at the University of Warwick, last week hosted the National TUCO Skills Competitions (21-22 March), the annual showcase for the culinary talents within Higher and Further Education. This was a major change of venue as for the previous 14 years the competition had been hosted in Blackpool.

The competition saw a record number of competitors and attendees with over 350 competitors, suppliers, and guests attending from across the industry and sector.

The event made use of both the Rootes Building and Warwick Arts Centre, with the former venue hosting the Chinese themed night, Chefs Salon, Barista skills, food service and bars competition.

Warwick Arts Centre saw the introduction of eight live kitchens with Speed Cook, Street Food and Chefs team challenges. The venue was also used for the Grand Awards Dinner for 350 guests where all of this year’s winners were announced.

The University of Warwick had its own Gold winner with Samantha Chick in the Food Service competition, while Pete Fry and Mary Fry won Bronze and Silver in the Salon competition.

Clive Singleton, General Manager, Conference Park & Events, said: “It was fantastic to host the annual TUCO Skills Competitions here at the University of Warwick. We welcomed a record number of competitors and attendees in what was an enjoyable two days for all involved. By using both the Rootes Building and Warwick Arts Centre we had more than enough space for all of the different competitions and setups, while ensuring that attendees and competitors were able to get from challenge to challenge, meet the suppliers, network and actually be able to view all competitions live.”

Julie Barker, chair of TUCO, described the two days as hugely successful. “Warwick has been a fantastic setting and lived up to all expectations,” she said.

A full list of winners from the 2016 TUCO Skills Competitions can be found here


Aberdeen has been chosen to host Europe’s premier forum on the presentation of new research in the field of information retrieval. Young researchers in this field will visit Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) from 10-13 April 2017 for the European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR).

The forum aims to provide a supportive network for which their unpublished and innovative research can be presented, discussed and debated. A weekend workshop will run at Robert Gordon University (RGU) on 8-9 April 2017 preceding the conference at AECC where delegates can learn from experts in the field.

The conference, which was secured by the collaborative approach of TeamAberdeen, will feature keynote speakers from academic and industry professionals, along with workshops, tutorials and industry days to provide delegates with the best opportunity for knowledge sharing and networking. ECIR received subvention funding from VisitAberdeen which was match funded by VisitScotland’s Conference Bid Fund.

Ayse Goker, Professor of Computing Systems at Robert Gordon University (RGU), worked alongside TeamAberdeen to successfully bid for the conference. TeamAberdeen combines expertise from Aberdeen City and Shire Council, AECC, Aberdeen International Airport, RGU, The University of Aberdeen and VisitAberdeen to secure high profile conferences for the city.

Professor Goker commented, “ECIR was last held in Aberdeen in 1997, so it seems fitting to have the conference return to the beautiful region on the 20th anniversary. When we set out on the bidding process to host the conference in Aberdeen, we wanted it to be inclusive of researchers stretching from the Northwest of Europe to the Southeast to allow professionals and academics in the industry to showcase their research to an international audience. The programme has increased involvement for student mentoring to cover several facets of information retrieval which will further opportunities for networking and social activities.”

Steven Daun, Associations Sales Manager at AECC and member of TeamAberdeen, said “TeamAberdeen has been working closely with Professor Ayse Goker for a number of months to secure the ECIR conference and we are thrilled the region has been selected to host another premier European conference in 2017.”


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