Organised by Young Scot, SEPA and Glasgow City of Science, Air Time aimed to prepare young would-be entrepreneurs for VentureJam 2016 – a three-day hackathon-style event (5-7 August) that is part of the programme for Venturefest Scotland, Scotland’s annual innovation summit. VentureJam is the first and only official ‘youth strand’ for any UK Venturefest event.

(If you would like more information on participating in VentureJam 2016, which takes place in August, please contact Allan Lindsay at Young Scot)

Air Time featured a collection of hands-on, creative activities to help young people understand the challenge of air pollution – an increasing issue especially in large cities like Glasgow and Edinburgh – and how it impacts on society including health, city planning and the environment. Participants were challenged to consider how technological innovations could improve the air we breathe, by encouraging behaviour that either helps cut air pollution or reduces exposure to it.

An idea conceived by Glasgow City of Science, VentureJam 2016 is an inspirational enterprise education programme that will see a group of young people from across Scotland work with a team of business mentors to devise novel and creative business solutions to tackle air pollution. The teams then get to pitch their best ideas, Dragon’s Den-style, to top industry experts and investors at Venturefest Scotland, this year being held on 1 September at Glasgow Science Centre.

Dr Susie Mitchell, programme director of Glasgow City of Science, said: “The Air Time launch activity was a great success, and showed the desire of young Scots to develop their knowledge and skills to help combat major societal challenges such as air quality.

“Opportunities that upskill, inspire and encourage entrepreneurial thinking in our young people can boost competitiveness and growth in a smart, sustainable and inclusive way. I can’t wait to see how the young people translate their new knowledge from today’s inspirational event into creative business ideas at VentureJam in August.”

Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive of Young Scot, said: “Making the country a cleaner and greener place is important to many young people and this was plain to see in level of passion displayed by the participants at Air Time. We were pleased to see so many fantastic early ideas on show. If we want to tackle the big issues of our time it’s vital we tap into the creativity and insight of young people.”

Dr Colin Gillespie, principal air scientist at SEPA: “Involving young people and allowing them to lead on the message they feel should be delivered, or what the solutions could be, is a very effective way to raise awareness of the problem of poor air quality, which unfortunately seems to have been in the news all too often in recent months. Poor air quality contributes to thousands of premature deaths across the UK every year, as well as the impact it has on our environment.

“There is a real and ongoing effort to improve air quality across Scotland’s cities. The Scottish Government’s Cleaner Air for Scotland Strategy (CAfS) sets out an ambitious vision where Scotland’s air quality will be the best in Europe. As the young people who took part in Air Time have learned, every single person in Scotland can play their part in achieving this goal by making small but achievable changes to their lifestyles.”

Air Time with VentureJam and VentureJam 2016 are being supported by Scottish Government, SEPA, Glasgow City Council, Developing the Young Workforce Glasgow, Scotland’s Environment Web, Murgitroyd, Perceptive Communicators and Glasgow Science Centre.



Young Scot

Glasgow City of Science


Scottish Government

Glasgow City Council

Developing the Young Workforce Glasgow

Scotland’s Environment Web


Perceptive Communicators

Glasgow Science Centre