Elmhurst Solutions


Peter visits Nazarbaev University, Astana, Kazakhstan.

RAEng Newton Fund: 

Building Industry-Academia Linkages in Kazakhstan

Peter visits Nazarbaev University


The Royal Academy of Engineering is the UK’s National Academy for Engineering. It brings together the most successful and talented engineers from across the engineering sectors to advance and promote excellence in engineering and innovation both in the UK and globally.

The Academy is a delivery partner for the Newton-Al-Farabi Partnership Programme which builds science, innovation and R&D ties between Kazakhstan and the UK, sponsored by both governments. As part of the Newton-Al-Farabi Programme, the Academy will be implementing its ‘Higher Education Partnership’ (HEP) Programme which aims to build linkages between industry and academia through sponsoring high level exchanges between both sectors. The HEP is modelled on a highly successful programme run by the Academy in the UK which has led to curricular change in several leading universities and valuable knowledge transfer into industry.

In order to initiate the Programme, the Academy held an inception workshop on the 18th-19th March, 2015 at Nazarbayev University, Astana. The workshop convened relevant senior partners across government, industry and academia in both Kazakhstan and the UK to discuss the current challenges of collaboration in skills and technological development within Kazakhstan, share international experience and help inform the path forward in programme implementation.

As chairman of British Expertise’s “Central Asia Transcaucasus Business Information Group” (CATBIG) Peter Lindsay was invited to contribute actively to the workshop. This was an ideal opportunity for Peter to familiarise himself with the programme in order to inform UK industry about this opportunity and facilitate on-going relations between all parties.

The UK delegation included conference co Chair Professor Hugh Griffiths from the Dept. of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at University College London, Dr Siddharth Saxena from Cambridge Central Asian Forum, Dr Liudmila Sheremeteva from Financial Services for Eastern Europe, Mo Alavijeh from Pharmidex and representatives from Brighton, Essex and Strathclyde Universities as well as the Department for Business Innovation & Skills. Shaarad Sharma from the Royal Academy of Engineering and the British Council Kazakhstan team were also on hand throughout.

Air Astana provided excellent flights in and out of Kazakhstan and the delegation stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn. Time was found for a quick photo opportunity in the main hall of the thoroughly impressive Nazarbayev University. Directly across the road from this was what must be the largest building site in central Asia, with literally dozens of cranes; the site for the Expo 2017. Indeed one of the presentations at the workshop was delivered by Mrs Saltanat Rakhimbekova, Managing Director of Expo 2017. This began with an impressive picture of the Crystal Palace, site of Expo 1851, in London!

Having last visited Astana almost 8 years ago, Peter was amazed by the progress made in the development of this modern convenient city. Peter noted that the wonderful warmth and hospitality of the local people had not changed, however.

Azerbaijan Meeting

Peter chaired a “CATBIG” meeting sponsored by The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS). Held at British Expertise in London, the event featured Charles Hendry (the Prime Minister’s trade envoy for Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan) and Tahir Taghizade (the newly appointed Ambassador of Azerbaijan to the Court of St James) addressing a full house.


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Sutton Russian Circle

Peter gave an illustrated talk entitled “Experiences of living in the late 1980s Soviet Union compared to Russia now”. The talk was held on Friday, 17 January 2014 for the Sutton Russian Circle at The Friends Meeting House, 10 Cedar Road, Sutton SM2 5DA.
Feedback was positive and Peter received the following vote of thanks:

“Dear Peter

On behalf of all the members of Sutton Russian Circle I should like to thank you for giving us such an interesting talk last night.

Having lived and worked in Russia in two different eras you were able to give us a unique perspective on what changed and yet what remained the same.

It is such a fascinating topic – we wished your talk could have gone on longer. Thank you for staying on at the end to answer questions and talk to some of us.

The books you brought along were super, ranging from railway workers in the 30s supported by both Stalin and Lenin (!) to the gilded cage of your posh home/office  in Moscow in the 80s.. they really enhanced your talk. Thank you for bringing them along.

We do hope you can stay in touch with the Circle and come to some of our meetings or even become a member. For just under £3.89 it is such good value! Anyway, I’d love to chat more about Jill and Peter Errington, dear friends.

Once again our thanks and good wishes.

Kind regards


Leslie  Dommett

Secretary, Sutton Russian Circle”

Wells & Walsingham Light Railway

Peter recently visited the longest 10¼” narrow gauge steam railway in the world and saw their unique Garratt locomotives “Norfolk Hero” and “Norfolk Heroine” which were especially built for this line. Opened in 1982 this 4 mile line runs through the most beautiful countryside. A shareholder in “Norfolk Hero”, Peter has made several previous visits and is keen to promote awareness of the railway, especially to London based enthusiasts.
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Food for Thought: CATBIG visit to Uzbekistan’s Agriculture Sector



Peter Lindsay traveled to Uzbekistan between June 3rd and 6th to attend the International Conference “Key Reserves for Food Production Program in Uzbekistan” held in Tashkent. Having made many visits over the years, especially between 1996 and 1999 when he established a local joint venture company for Intertek Testing Services, it was a particular pleasure for him to see first hand the tremendous progress being made in so many sectors of Uzbek life. Peter participated as chairman of CATBIG and as a Senior Consultant to British Expertise. The return flights on Uzbekistan Airlines were perfect and the hospitality was generally excellent. The event had been well organised and special thanks must be given to the Uzbek Embassy in London for arranging the invitations.

During the first day Peter was able to meet other participants of the forum including some other members of the UK delegation – Michael Thomas (CEO, Pathfinder Trade & Invest), Prof Siddharth Saxena (Chairman, Cambridge Central Asia Forum), Joanne Alexander-Safre (Director, Sefrex Ltd), Fiona Johnson (Managing Director, Vellag Ltd). Other excursions and visits were also laid on as required and a fleet of drivers, interpreters and guides were available round the clock.

On the second day, the entire overseas delegation, plus many local partners, traveled to Samarkand. This was an opportunity to enjoy the new express train which took just over 2 hours. Peter’s group started by touring an extremely well organised intensive farm, then a facility for the production of fruit juices and concentrates before touring a fascinating refrigeration complex for the storage of fruits and vegetables. As an active member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, Peter stressed the importance of keeping accurate records during all stages of the supply chain for temperature sensitive produce – this will be a vital factor in the eventual export to the EU. Following a magnificent lunch in the Samarkand restaurant, with live music and dancing, the delegation undertook a site seeing program including the world famous Registan Square, Amir Temur Mausoleum and Ulugbek Observatory. Various dinners and networking events were scheduled for the evening back in Tashkent. Food for Thought: CATBIG visit to Uzbekistan’s Agriculture Sector. On the third day, foreign participants were transported to the magnificent Palace of Symposia, National Library named after Alisher Navoi. The Keynote Address was delivered by The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov. This was followed by speeches from the Director General of the Food & Agriculture Organisation, Vice President of the Asian Development Bank, Director of the World Health Organisation, World Bank and EU officials and finally the Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Whilst an extremely intensive program, Peter gained a deeper understanding of opportunities for UK based firms in Uzbekistan across a wide range of sectors. These will be communicated to the business community through British Expertise. Whilst not directly related to the Conference, it is apparent that Uzbekistan is committed to developing tourism and Peter is already facilitating a project involving British tourism consultants.

SGS Taiwan

SGS has just published a book to celebrate the 60th anniversary of  SGS in Taiwan. Peter was asked to contribute a section about his memories of living and working in Taiwan in the mid 1980s, by  Dennis Yang the Chief Operating Officer for SGS Eastern Asia Region.

Recent Trade Missions

Peter was appointed Mission Manager / Leader for the UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) “Eco Cities Mission to Taiwan” in September and “Mass Transport – British Capabilities – Conference in Romania” in October 2013.
In June 2014 Peter led 8 mid-level managers from the Financial Management Unit of the government of Turkey who traveled to the UK. They were on a study tour to gain a deeper understanding of how the European Social Fund could be applied in the event of Turkey’s accession to the EU. The target of the Study Visit was the exchange of experiences with the British Public Institutions involved in management and implementation of ESF and to discuss the most relevant issues raised and how to solve them.  The Study Visit particularly focused on Financial Engineering Instruments within ESF, Procedures of Management verification of ESF financed projects – both project and financial management aspects and Financial Closure.
Peter with inbound delegation from Turkey visiting PETROC, Barnstable, North Devon.