Building International Relationships

Hosted by Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce

Location: James Hutton Institute

Date & Time

Friday, Nov 12, 2021 at 11:30 - 14:00

Friday, Nov 12, 2021 at 12:30 - 14:00

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Join us for this FREE business lunch as we hear from our guest speaker, Ian Houston, who currently serves as President of the Scottish Business Network (SBN) US and as SBN Ambassador in Washington, DC. Ian focuses on promoting Scottish business, trade, industry, charities, culture, and universities in the U.S.


We'll take a look at the success of the local Scottish and British chamber network in expanding international engagement, understanding, and trade within US states and around the world. Our discussions will focus on how those experiences offer a bridge to the future of the region to expand and forge new international relationships in key localities and regions across North America, and to draw added attention to what Dundee has to offer for global investors, researchers, and partners. 

We'll also be joined by Ernie Coutts, CEO, Ecosse Global Uk Ltd. Ecosse Global UK Limited has over 30 years of industry experience of understanding effective asset lifecycle extension. Looking for the answers to clients problems, Ecosse Global UK maintain a watchful eye on new technology with a view to developing innovative products. Ernie will tell us more about his own experiences of  building relationships and forging new connections in the USA.

We'll also hear about the growth of Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) - IGS brings together IGSdecades of farming and engineering experience to create a technology business that thrives on designing innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges. We will get a tour of their Growth Tower at JHI which was Scotland's first vertical indoor farm and hear about how this cutting edge technology has driven significant growth, at home and globally too. 

IGS are showcasing their technology at COP26 at the moment, and you can also take a tour of their Dundee Crop Research Centre 

Guest Speaker: Ian Houston

Houston, served for 12 years as the Executive Director and Legislative (Parliamentary) Director of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA). He represented the views of diplomats, trade and humanitarian professionals, and ambassadors as the senior operational director at AFSA.  

He has deep experience with foreign policy, trade, and international development. He has heldIan Houston senior advocacy positions with a coalition of international humanitarian groups called InterAction, and other non-profit humanitarian groups. Prior to that he served as a Legislative Director and policy advisor in the U.S. Congress.

He also served as Chair of the Development Committee of the DACOR Bacon House, an historic home in Washington, DC owned by DACOR, an association of foreign affairs and diplomatic professionals, and currently serves on the board of the Robert Burns Ellisland Farm near Dumfries, Scotland.

Houston holds a MA degree in International Relations from the University of Kent in Canterbury, England and a BA in Political Science from Brigham Young University.  He is a recipient of a Harry S. Truman Presidential Library Scholarship, Institute of World Affairs Scholarship, and received a commendation medal for public service from California’s Governor.

He also writes monthly columns for Herald Scotland and Voice newspapers across Cornwall, and contributes to Daily Business Magazine. He has appeared on BBC Radio Scotland several times. He is the author of a book of poetry released in 2019 called Under Candle Bright.

Houston is a UK/US citizen.

Ernie Coutts, CEO, Ecosse Global

Dealing with USA for the last 30 years has been one of life’s great experiences for me. The idea of working at the other side of the pond seemed a challenge at the time but as things progressed it became more of a pleasure.

The country, the people and the culture certainly are different but that’s why it is a “must go” destination for some businesses.

From corrosion protection of the steel piles on New York’s La Guardia airport’s runway 13 to protecting deepwater offshore oil and gas structures in the Gulf of Mexico, it certainly hasn’t been boring for me!

Still dealing with my associates in Texas with my company Ecosse Global, I find myself still buzzing at the new challenges thrown at the company and my chums in US.

It gets done albeit slightly differently to how we do things over here but that’s what keeps it interesting.

It’s all about connections, unique product and services relevance to the USA markets they don’t have themselves and these are pretty much key to how the thing works.

From there good business friends are developed.

Certainly worked for me and my company!

Event location

James Hutton Institute

Errol Road


Dundee , DD2 5DA

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