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OLPC, originally uploaded by ccgd.

Well I’ve been in Boston most of the week, for the MIT Media Lab Sponsor “Open House”. One of the roles of my team at Highlands and Islands Enterprise is to manage Knowledge Transfer activities for the region, and that’s why we actively work with MIT – one of the worlds best technology universities – to identify technologies, process and people who will benefit the Highlands and Islands.

As always the range and breadth of activities at the Lab are mind blowing. Sat beside Deb Roy at Dinner Tuesday night, and caught up with his Human Speechome project. He has wired up his house – every room – with video and sound and is capturing three years worth of data (200GB a day!) “in an effort to unravel the seemingly miraculous process by which children acquire language.” It started when his son was a baby, and will continue until the lad is starting to talk.

Wednesday was a full day of project outlines and demo’s. We have three Highlands and Islands Enterprise Research Fellows here at the lab, and caught up with them all, and reviewed where they were with their activities. One of the most fun is Dan Stiehl’s Huggable – a robotic interactive teddy bear – designed provide therapeutic support for elderly, hospitalised kids, and other people in need.

We are talking about trials with Highlands and Islands schools, hospitals and care homes next year.

Yesterday included an update on the One Laptop per Child initiative from Nicolas Negroponte, and May Lou Jepson demonstrated the revolutionary new display that has been developed for the project.

Exciting stuff!

I worked for Scottish Enterprise in Glasgow briefly in 1995, and that was one of my most interesting jobs in terms of keeping up-to-date with economic and investment activity.

(Much more exciting than a previous stint at Royal Bank of Scotland in Edinburgh. I think it put me off working for banks completely!)

I'm envious of all the travel that's part of your work life!

Ahhh - so thats what you were doing in Scotland. HIE has a wider remit than Scottish Enterprise, so in my humble opionion we have a more fun job.

Working with MIT is perhaps the most fun bit.....

Actually, I was in Scotland because I was rather besotted with an Ayrshire lad I'd met and travelled with in Australia.

It didn't work out between us, but in the meantime, I became smitten with the country! If my two year visa (granted to Canadians under 25) hadn't expired, I'd probably still be based there.

Shamefully, the furthest north I reached was only Inverness. I would like to travel further north, as far as I can go.

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