Delivering Scotland’s trading aims

Revitalised Trade Board membership.

Eight new members have been appointed to an advisory group, with the aim of growing Scotland’s exports and delivering on the objectives of ‘A Trading Nation’ (ATN), the new group will meet for the first time on Monday 13th June.

Since the launch of ATN in 2019, progress has been made by increasing investment in businesses to export from Scotland and expanding international networks to increase the reach and value of Scotland’s trade with the rest of the world. Exports have shown signs of strengthening over 2021, compared with 2019, our onshore goods exports decreased by only 1%, in comparison, the UK as a whole saw an 8 per cent decrease.

The Trade Board will continue to help us identify how we can build on these foundations and return to an export growth trajectory, by delivering ATN and ensuring it continues to contribute to our National Strategy for Economic Transformation, through the development and delivery of Sector Export Plans on Technology, Life Sciences, Renewables and Hydrogen.   

The role and remit of the board is to:

  • Provide industry and businesses with the opportunity to feedback to the Scottish Government on the delivery of A Trading Nation
  • Advise on long-term strategic, economic and environmental issues which may impact the target of exports making up 25 per cent of GDP by 2029

The new members, appointed by Trade Minister Ivan McKee, will join four continuing members on the group and will bring with them a wealth of experience and wide-ranging skillsets.

Trade Minister Ivan McKee said:

“It is great to be able to announce the new members of the Ministerial Trade Board and I would like to welcome our new members on board.

“I am absolutely determined that the Scottish Government in partnership with business do all we can to boost export growth and realise international market and sector opportunities by delivering on the aims we set out in A Trading Nation back in 2019. Expanding our exports is absolutely essential in the wake of Brexit and the damaging effects on our economy of being taken out of the European single market, which is around seven times larger than the UK market alone.

“As set out in the National Strategy for Economic Transformation we want Scotland to benefit from a strong, green and thriving economy. I look forward to working closely with the Board, their innovative ways of working will be vital in helping inform on the best ways to meet our aims.”


The membership of the Trade Board is deliberately business-focused and brings together a range of people with significant expertise and relevant experience in exporting activity from a variety of perspectives who give advice to the Scottish Government.

New members of the board are:

David Currie, Group CEO, Proserv

Mr Currie has more than 35 years’ experience in the energy sector. He is currently the Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Proserv after initially joining the business as its CEO in May 2018.

Gillian Docherty OBE, Chief Commercial Officer at University of Strathclyde

Formerly of IBM, Ms Docherty is chief commercial officer at the University of Strathclyde. Ms Docherty has responsibility for Innovation & Industry Engagement, Research & Knowledge Exchange Services, Campus Support and Marketing & Development.

Simon Forrest, CEO of Nova Innovation

Mr Forrest is the CEO of Nova Innovation, which he co-founded in 2010. Mr Forrest has over 30 years’ industrial experience, having worked in the energy sector with Scottish Power and Wood Mackenzie before setting up Nova Innovation.

Richard Knox, Managing director of Verlume

Mr Knox is passionate about the commercial adoption of renewable technology and has led Verlume’s overall business strategy and execution with the support of the Verlume executive team and advisory board.

Dr Sarah Lynagh, Commercial Director of Fios Genomic

Dr Lynagh is the CEO of Fios Genomics, an Edinburgh based contract research organisation. Fios Genomics started as a University spin-out and provides an extensive range of bioinformatics data analysis services to biotechnology & pharmaceutical companies, contract research organisations and academia worldwide.

Gary White, Senior Director, Strategic Site Solutions

Mr White is part of IQVIA leadership team in European Strategic Site Solutions, whose remit is to deliver solutions across the region to better engage with clinical research sites, accelerating patient recruitment and driving healthcare forward.

Marcus Pickering, Co-founder and Director Pickerings Gin

With business partners of over 18 years, Mr Pickering managed a large restoration project in Edinburgh, transforming a 2.5 acre university campus into one of the largest arts venues in Europe.

James Varga, CEO DirectID

Mr Varga founded The ID Co. in 2011. DirectID a global credit & risk platform provides intelligent insights based on bank data that help customers understand their customers and make better credit and risk decisions.


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