Showcasing fintech: Fintech leaders from Japan spent two days learning about the growing sector in Scotland as part of the Department for International Trade’s inaugural JP-UK Tech Rocketship Awards for entrepreneurs in Japan.

Organised by Scottish Development International (SDI), the five-strong delegation visited the Bayes Centre, the University of Edinburgh’s innovation hub for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. There was also a visit to IT company Fujitsu’s office in Edinburgh and an overview of the Scottish fintech sector by FinTech Scotland during a tour of RBS’s Gogarburn HQ.

The Scottish Government’s Trade and Investment Minister Ivan McKee said: “This SDI programme allowed us to show our visitors from Japan the collaborative approach Scotland operates within the fintech sector, where our public institutions, academia and the private sector work together to support innovation and encourage business growth.

“It will further increase Scotland’s profile in the Far East and is another step towards our goal of being ranked among the world’s top five fintech cluster nations.”

Something fishy: Flying the flag for Scottish salmon at the upcoming Seafood Expo in Brussels is Sutherland-based Loch Duart which is also taking a couple of cookery students along to prepare canapes for visitors to its stand.

Jaypee Escaro and Michael Brown, both Level 3 students studying the advanced diploma in professional cookery course at North Hertfordshire College, responded to a challenge by Patrick Evans, Loch Duart’s food ambassador, to submit recipes and photographs of canapes they created to showcase the taste and texture of the award-winning salmon.

With the promise of salmon tartare with green apple, pickles, cucumber, spring onion, radish, dill oil and Dijon mustard on rye crisps along with blinis with beetroot, orange and whisky/gin cured salmon, candied beetroot, horseradish cream and chives on the menu, we reckon that the anticipated 29,000 buyers and suppliers from over 150 countries attending the world’s largest seafood trade fair in April will be making a beeline to the Loch Duart stand.

Country life: Hats off to Scotland’s countryside education charity, the Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET), which has raised over £90,000 towards providing free educational activities and experiential learning opportunities for children.

RHET’s first-ever gala dinner and auction at the Royal Highland Centre at Ingliston saw guests bidding for 90-plus prizes, including spa breaks, a holiday to Mauritius, an ice-cream making experience and, wait for it, bull semen.

Curly Sue, a Highland Cow sculpture made by Kev Paxton, made a “hugely significant contribution to the fundraising, thanks to a particularly generous bid” from Audrey Baxter, executive chairman of the Speyside-based global food group.

RHET operates a network of countryside initiatives and works with volunteers to bring farming and the countryside to life for young people. It takes more than 16,500 children onto farms and estates throughout Scotland while over 28,000 pupils have a farmer come to talk in their school.