International network: monitoring and evaluation report 2022-2023

The Scottish Government's international network monitoring and evaluation reports for the financial year from April 2022 to March 2023.


Context for 2022/23

Team Scotland France consists of Scottish Government France Office and Scottish Development International (SDI) France. The team work out of the British Embassy in Paris.

In Summer 2022, the Deputy Head of Office in the Scottish Government Team changed, and the team retained its size of three members of staff. The SDI team welcomed a new Account Executive in Science and Tech, making a team of nine sector leads. The joint priorities of Team Scotland France reflect the importance of energy security and transition, including COP27 and COP15, and we also supported a number of ministerial visits and in-person events following the COVID-19 pandemic. SDI continued their focus on food and drink, life sciences, technology, space, and energy.

Team Scotland France also work with Embassy teams to promote Scottish interests.


The Office had a successful year, facilitating and supporting a number of in-person events and visits following the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Our St Andrew’s Day event, held at the Embassy, was our biggest cultural and trade event of the year. Co-hosted by the British Deputy Head of Mission and the Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands, we showcased over 20 Scottish food and drink brands to over 250 guests, including key business contacts and potential investors in France.

We also successfully supported five ministerial visits to France (and two virtual engagements) as well as supporting an incoming French ministerial delegation to Scotland and a bi-lateral meeting at COP27. One of our most significant events was the unveiling of a plaque at the historic Hôtel des Invalides in Paris, which commemorates Scottish soldiers who have fought on French soil since the Auld Alliance of 1295. We have also successfully further developed relations with multilateral organisations based in Paris, such as UNESCO and OECD, and we will continue to build on this in the coming year.

One significant challenge the Office faced in the third and fourth quarters of the business year was the industrial and social action taking place across France due the French Government’s pension reform bill. This caused the cancellation or postponement of some of our events/visits. This may continue into this business year, and we will therefore continue to monitor the socio-political situation closely as we have been doing; reporting back to Ministers and colleagues in Edinburgh and adjusting our plans as necessary.


In a year largely unaffected by pandemic restrictions, we have worked to build Scotland’s reputation and presence in France; supporting a suite of Ministerial visits and meetings (five ministerial visits and two Ministerial videoconferences), as well as an inward visit to Scotland by French Minister and a bi-lateral at COP27. We have also maintained and grown our relationships with print and broadcast journalists. We have built relations with the new French Government following the presidential and parliamentary elections and continued to solidify our excellent relationship with the Brittany Region (despite industrial action leading to the cancellation/delay of two of our joint planned events). We have helped showcase Scotland at sports events, such as the Six Nations Tournament halftime. We have also helped promote Scotland’s reputation on the multilateral stage, primarily through strengthening our relationship with UNESCO and the UK Delegation to UNESCO; allowing us to host and participate at events at their HQ in Paris.

  • 4,830 Twitter followers in total as at 31 March 2023 – 444 new followers
  • 9,830 Twitter likes and 2,542 retweets
  • 1,434,900 impressions on Twitter
  • 19 proactive media articles involving Scotland and a total of 296 articles monitored mentioning Scotland
  • One televised interview involving a Scottish Minister (Angus Robertson with ‘Talking Europe’ by France 24)
  • Maintained relationships with 20 journalist contacts and made 5 new relationships with print and broadcast journalists (Les Echos, Politico, France TV, Le Point, AFP)

Case study: Cabinet Secretary for External Affairs Visit to Paris

Ministerial visits and engagements are an excellent tool in building our relationships in France and increasing Scotland’s reputation. We supported the new Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for External Affairs in his first visit to France in October 2022. This was a chance for us to build relationships with a newly formed French Government (appointed in 2022).

A key part of this visit was to unveil a commemorative plaque at Les Invalides; honouring Scottish soldiers who fought on French soil over the centuries (which is open to the public). The France Office had been working on this important and poignant event over the past year, receiving backing from French President Emmanuel Macron; a significant moment in Franco/Scottish relations.

Our team were able to organise and support a suite of engagements covering culture, climate and energy, business, EU relations, and France-Scottish relations.

The main outcome of this visit was unveiling of a commemorative plaque at Hôtel des Invalides, alongside the British Ambassador, French Veterans Minister, and a number of French and British military personnel. This helped enable an the inward visit of the French Veterans Minister to Scotland. The Scottish Cabinet Secretary also co-hosted a lunchtime reception with the assistant Director General for Culture at UNESCO and the UK Delegation to UNESCO. The event focussed on the award winning Digital Trail which promotes sustainable tourism round all Scotland’s UNESCO designated sites – the first of its kind. He also met with the new French Europe Minister, reiterating our shared objectives and goals with France and Europe as well as the new French Culture Minister; reiterating our ongoing work on a joint Culture Statement of Intent. He also met the DG of France’s Biodiversity Agency, where we agreed to support an inward visit for them to learn more about Scotland’s work to protect Biodiversity. He also visited Edrington’s new Paris Office.

The visit also resulted in successful communication outputs, including:

  • A televised interview on the France24 show ‘Talking Europe’, which was broadcast several times.
  • A media roundtable which resulted in an article in the French magazine ‘L’Opinion’; and we built a new contact with Politico.
  • A positive article was also published in ‘French Morning’ on the Digital Trail following our event at UNESCO.
  • Eight organic posts were published on our Twitter (@ScotGovFrance), resulting in 100 new followers including the French Veterans Minister and the French Europe Minister. Our posts were seen 74.8 thousand times.

International Trade

We have continued to support Scottish businesses source and secure business opportunities in France, under the context of the Scotland: A Trading Nation strategy. We have worked this year on the following priorities: Life Sciences (including pharmaceutical services, MedTech, animal health, agritech and green chemistry); Technology (including space, fintech and sustainable construction); Energy and Low Carbon Transition (including offshore wind, low carbon and hydrogen technologies and nuclear decommissioning); and Food & Drink (including seafood, sprits and premium groceries). We have organised several trade-focused events, including an Offshore Wind and Marine Environment workshop (alongside Department for Business and Trade (DBT), and attended and supported Scottish interests at major exhibitions, including Hyvolution, MedInTechs, AgeingFit and the Salon d’Agriculture.

  • 115 companies supported
  • 140 international trade opportunities identified
  • £74,000,000 forecast international sales as a result of SDI support

Case study: MedInTechs Trade Show

Life Sciences and medical technology is a growing trade and investment opportunity for Scotland, and France has one of the most advanced Health ecosystems in the world; a perfect place for Scottish companies to do business.

MedInTechs is France’s major Medtech innovation trade show (under the patronage of French President Emmanuel Macron) which aims to bring together the public and private ecosystems to build the future of healthcare. This year, SDI France supported a Scottish pavilion which hosted a delegation of Scottish companies. The team liaised with over a dozen interested companies. This resulted in four companies committing to attend.

SDI, working closely with the organisers to secure significant discounts, helped companies by taking care of the organisation and assisting with marketing, registration as logistics including flights and hotels. SDI colleagues then helped companies to set up their stalls at the event.

The exhibition brought together more than 10,000 visitors and 200 exhibitors. Within the UK Village, SDI France brought a delegation of four Scottish companies (Optos, LumiraDX, Cardioprecision, Novosound), and DBT four further British companies. LumiraDX partnered with the “French Heart Alliance” (Alliance du Coeur) in order to perform live diagnostics under the surveillance of a medical board. The exhibition brought a number of positive outputs and outcomes for SDI France and the companies who we supported:

  • Two companies (Optos and LumiraDX) were video interviewed by the organisers, and will be featured on their website and social media.
  • LumiraDX will be interviewed for a French TV Programme (‘Minute Medical’ on BFM TV) on their ongoing work.
  • The French Health Minister visited the Scottish stand, helping to increase visibility.
  • The CEO of Digital Medical Hub, the Head of Procurement of AGEPS and the President of the Franco-British Hospital met with companies to discuss marketing opportunities.
  • Cardioprecision’s CoreVista product had its first onstage demonstrations.

Research and Innovation

Whilst working with French businesses on our International Trade and Investment objectives, we seek to show Scotland as a place where innovation is an intrinsic part of our culture, society and economy. We also promote Scotland’s excellent research ecosystems, such as our world-leading universities and innovation centres, which conduct research in a variety of areas, including medicine, energy technology, and space and science, to name but a few. We have also worked with French companies to seek innovative solutions in Scotland; introducing them to Scotland’s sectors and companies.

Case study: Hydrogen and Decarbonisation

Scottish Government’s £10M Emerging Energy Technologies Fund (EETF) Hydrogen Innovation Scheme (HIS)

SDI and Scottish Government have facilitated discussions between Scottish and French hydrogen players with the objective of encouraging the creation of international consortiums to respond to the H2 funding call launched by Scottish Government last year.

We helped organise introductions and meetings between French and Scottish companies: Sofresid (Saipem) with European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), Sakowin with Locogen and Scottish Gas network, H2X with Hydro-C. We have also worked with French organisations to help them find innovative and creative solutions which Scottish companies can offer, including with H2X Ecosystems, Ariane Group, Colas Rail, and Elogen.

Brittany Scotland Maritime Decarbonisation Collaboration

Following the discussion between the Scottish Government Business and Trade Minister and Brittany’s Vice-President of the Sea and Coast, during their visit to the Floating Offshore Wind Turbine conference in Montpellier in May 2022, SDI and Scottish Government organised, alongside Bretagne Development Innovation (BDI), a webinar dedicated to collaboration opportunities in the maritime sector. This webinar highlighted capabilities of successful Scottish companies who were awarded projects part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition fund.

Scottish Government’s £10M Emerging Energy Technologies Fund (EETF) Hydrogen Innovation Scheme (HIS)

As a result of the introductions and meetings organised:

  • A Non-Disclosure Agreement was signed between H2X and Hydro-C, and Sofresid and EMEC.
  • EMEC and Sofresid were awarded £150,000 for their HySKUA project: a study that will focus on offshore production of green hydrogen on a floating hydrogen production hub co-located with Scottish offshore windfarms.

Brittany Scotland Maritime Decarbonisation Collaboration

As a result of the webinar:

  • Approximately 70 people participated on the webinar including representatives from 15 Scottish companies.
  • A document in French summarising Scottish maritime decarbonisation projects and their associated companies was shared with Breton stakeholders as well as a summary of Horizon funding calls related to maritime decarbonisation.
  • A Non-Disclosure Agreement was signed between H2X and EMEC to further identify collaboration opportunities between both companies.


Our mission is to grow Scotland’s exports, increase inward investment to Scotland and secure new capital investment, in part to fund a just transition. Our team here has continued to showcase Scotland to French companies as an excellent place to do business.

Our focus is defined by the priorities of Scotland’s three internationalisation plans (plus additional context from A Vision for Trade’) which guide our approach to growing trade, attracting inward investment, and increasing capital investment flows into Scotland. All of our activity aims to respond to the National Strategy for Economic Transformation and to contribute towards Scottish Enterprise’s focus on entrepreneurship, global talent, innovation and delivering large scale economic opportunities including those aligned to the seven National Programmes.

Through our values-led approach, the aim is to deliver fair work, net zero and inclusive and sustainable economic growth which improve communities and places across Scotland; spreading increased wealth and wellbeing.

Case study: Energy Transition Focussed Inward Investment

Energy Transition is a key investment opportunity area for Scotland; particularly the Offshore Wind and Hydrogen sectors, which offer significant investment opportunities for international companies.

France is the 2nd largest inward investor country in Scotland* with the presence of a large number of French energy companies such as Total Energies, EDF, Vinci Energies, Veolia, SPIE, ENGIE, Technip Energies etc.; all increasing investment in renewable energies and therefore representing a huge potential for inward investment.

Given the strategic fit between the Scottish opportunities and the French companies’ inward investment potential, SDI Paris has engaged in a series of investment activities to promote the Scottish offshore wind and hydrogen investment opportunities and to identify new inward investment leads and progress existing projects.

These included the Floating Offshore Wind Turbine event (FOWR), the Seanergy Exhibition and Conference, the Wind Europe conference, the Floating Offshore Wind Conference and Exhibition, an EVOLEN mission to Scotland, and Hyvolution. (*number of projects. Source: FDI Markets 2022)

Scotland’s Offshore Wind and hydrogen investment opportunities were showcased to a large number of French and international companies throughout the year in different geographical locations and in targeted, sector specific events. Some of the main outputs and outcomes of this effort were:

  • More than 100 company engagements from the energy sector resulting in a strong pipeline of potential inward investors.
  • More than 40 companies visited Scotland to explore investment and business opportunities and having ongoing SDI support.
  • Building strong relationship with French Scotwind developers and planning to work with them to attract their supply chain companies to set up in Scotland.

Scotland’s Interests

Working with Scottish diaspora organisations, businesses, trade expositions, UK Government colleagues and our active Global Scots Network, one of our objectives was to promote Scotland as a modern, green and open-facing country; ready for business and keen to work with partners both in France and in Scotland. Alongside promoting and showcasing Scottish culture and talent, we aimed to raise Scotland’s profile in France as a nation that is not only about “salmon and whisky” but one which has much to offer in a wide range of areas such medical tech, space, energy, and the wider food and drink sector.

We recognise that many organisations, events, and Global Scots are based outside of Paris, and there is a rich variety of Scotland-related activity taking place in France. We already have strong links with Brittany, and we work to engage with other French Regions to promote Scotland’s interests.

  • 29 GlobalScots in total – 4 new recruits in 2022/23
  • Scotland is represented in France via many diaspora association and friendship groups that we partner up with during our events such as: the Caledonian Society of France, The Auld Alliance Association and university alumni networks.

Case study: St Andrew’s Day Event

Our biggest event of the year was our St Andrew’s Day event co-hosted by the Scottish government Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands and the British Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy. Co-funded by SDI and Scottish Government, with a contribution from our lead sponsor “Label Rouge Salmon”, the event’s aim was promoting a variety of Scottish food, drink and textile brands. Scottish companies supported the event by providing produce and also marketing material, with some coming to Paris to showcase their products. SDI secured a partnership with Le Cordon Bleu Paris cooking school, where students assisted Embassy chefs in the kitchen (part of a wider collaboration with Seafood Scotland). Before the event, we also supported Label Rouge Salmon to celebrate their 30th anniversary by hosting a conference where the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs spoke. It was also an opportunity to help mark the Caledonian Society of France’s 100th anniversary.

Scotland was showcased to over 250 attendees as an innovative, outward facing and creative nation with a rich cultural heritage that is ready to do business. Some of the main outputs and outcomes were:

  • 20 Scottish brands promoted, proving that Scotland is more than just “salmon and whisky”.
  • Showcasing Scotland as an innovative country ready to do business, with an “innovations gallery” that had a focus on 7 Scottish companies with an innovative story behind their product or concept (such as food packaging and technology etc.).
  • Partnering with Visit Scotland to promote Scotland as a great place to visit with a rich cultural heritage, by having a Harris Tweed exhibition (promoting sustainable fashion); having a Visit Scotland photobooth, and showcasing 5 Scottish authors who have had their work published in French.
  • Identifying approximately 11 trade opportunities; strengthening relations with at least 3 major existing investors and meetings being arranged with at least 3 importers.
  • 7,258 impressions on our Twitter posts.

Multilateral Engagement: UNESCO

Paris is home to the headquarters of numerous international organisations, including UNESCO and OECD. This year, we put particular effort into growing our presence at UNESCO, where we were able showcase Scotland and learn from other country delegations on important issues such as culture, education, heritage, and languages. Scottish Government France Office led on two events this business year with UNESCO:

Scotland’s UNESCO Trail Event

The Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Constitution, External Affairs and Culture co-hosted this event in October 2022 with support from the UK Delegation to UNESCO. We also had the Assistant Director-General for Culture at UNESCO and the Chair for the UK National Commission for UNESCO Board of Directors deliver speeches. This event strengthened our relationship with UNESCO, the UK Delegation to UNESCO, and the National Commission for UNESCO in the UK, as well as welcoming and building relationships with over 50 UNESCO delegates from various missions.

Primarily, this was an opportunity to showcase the innovative ‘Scotland’s UNESCO Trail’ (which has won various awards including Tourmag’s ‘Cesar for Sustainable Tourism’ Award at a ceremony in Marseille; the Foundation Award for UNESCO Territories 2022; and the Wanderlust Sustainability Award). The Trail also featured in four French online articles following the event.

World Mother Language Day

In February 2023, we participated in UNESCO’s annual World Mother Language Day event, organised and run by the Bangladeshi Delegation to UNESCO. This was an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of two of Scotland’s indigenous languages: Gaelic and Scots, as well as to promote elements of our food and drink industry, culture, and efforts to develop sustainable tourism.

We also built more contacts with other UNESCO country delegations thanks to this event.

Medium to long-term impact

Case Study - Green Research Project for Offshore Wind & Hydrogen

In 2020/2021, our team ran a green research project to help foster Franco-Scottish collaboration in the field of offshore wind and hydrogen technologies. The European Marine Energy Centre (based in the Orkney Islands) partnered with the marine renewable energy French organisation INNOSEA and won the tender. This area had been identified in the Scottish Government’s draft international energy narrative as a priority area for collaboration with international partners. We ran three workshops with French and Scottish stakeholders from the private sector which facilitated links between private and public sectors actors in France and Scotland. Private sector input was critical to supporting the contractors in refining their four main recommendations which were included in the final report, published in July 2021.

Since the publications of the report, we have started to take these recommendations forward. We supported the signing of the MoU between Scottish offshore wind cluster DeepWind and its Occitanie equivalent WindOcc in May 2022, in Presence of the Scottish Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise. We are currently developing an MOU with the Brittany Region that has a specific focus on Offshore Wind and hydrogen collaborations. Indeed, as the recommendations specify, we are creating platforms for network building in these key targeted Regions. For example, in February 2023, we worked with Bretagne Ocean Power to support a delegation of fifteen Scottish companies to meet in Rennes, Brittany with companies from the Brittany Renewable Marine Energy (MRE) sector.

Lessons learned for FY2022/23

We have built strong relationships within the British Embassy in Paris energy leads. SDI have an excellent working relationship with the Department for Business and Trade and Scottish Government have built good working relations across a breadth of areas including climate and energy. We also co-hosted our St Andrew’s Day event in the Embassy with the British Deputy Head of Mission. We have also built excellent relations with the UK Delegation to UNESCO, giving us the opportunity to host and participate in events promoting Scottish culture. The UK and Scotland share similar objectives in many areas, including culture, climate and green energy. We will continue to seek synergies with UK colleagues and work together on projects and events that help promote Scotland as a green, inclusive and welcoming destination which is also an excellent place to do business.

Much activity naturally takes place in the capital city, and being based in Paris allows us to be at the centre of this activity and to effectively report on political, economic and social developments to Ministers, businesses and colleagues. Nevertheless, we recognise the importance of the French Regions and their shared objectives on areas such as green energy. We have already built a solid governmental relationship with the Brittany Region, and have supported business links between Scottish and French companies based in regions outside Paris. For the coming year we plan to grow our engagement with other regions, as well as solidify and continue our successful relationships with Paris and Brittany.



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