Cows In A Field

An EPIC experience at the Royal Highland Show 2023

Four busy days for EPIC staff at the Royal Highland Show, Scotland’s iconic annual event which showcases the best of food, farming and rural life. With record crowds attending the show this year, EPIC did not miss out.

Networking and collaborating

EPIC members attended the SEFARI Gateway’s networking event in collaboration with the RHASS presidential initiative on “Scotland’s Food Stories”. The event highlighted the need for science and evidence to support innovation in food systems and started interesting conversations on the need for collaboration across science, policy, and business as the key to achieving sustainable growth.

Engaging and educating visitors

After a couple of years of absence, the Royal Highland Show provided an opportunity to showcase the work that we do alongside our partner institutions. 

Researchers from across the consortium institutions joined forces to present DigiFlock, a serious game that simulates a farm environment to enhance learning and engagement around the issues of biosecurity and sheep scab. Visitors could hop on a virtual quad bike and roam around the croft, or begin a game in a virtual farm, allowing users to explore choices around disease control and biosecurity over a time frame of ten years in-game time. 

EPIC researchers at the RHS 2023
Demonstrating Digiflock virtual reality


The four show days ended with Dr Samantha Lycett’s talk on “What you need to know about bird flu”. Between 2021 and 2023, the UK experienced its largest outbreak of Bird Flu, with serious impacts on commercial poultry as well as Scotland’s precious wild bird populations. With conspiracy theories and false beliefs, Dr Lycett presented facts and figures to the audience, giving an accurate and complete overview of what we need to know about bird flu to be informed and engaged in the conversation.


We await the next Royal Highland Show with great expectation!