Science and technology

Science, technology and innovation are increasingly becoming key drivers of Scotland’s economic success and quality of life.

ICT and Electronic Technologies

Scotland has built up a global reputation for excellence in the electronics industry with over 50 years of electronics manufacturing experience - the world’s first camera on a computer chip and the world’s smallest television screen were both invented here!

As the ever-changing landscape continues to reshape the industry, Scotland has continued to adapt to industry requirements, establishing the country’s electronics producers as high-end producers as opposed to high-volume manufacturers.

Scotland is home to some of the world's biggest and most successful electronics companies, including Amazon, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, IBM, and Microsoft.

Life Sciences

Scotland, as a small nation, boasts a significant global presence in research, development and manufacturing, and hosts of the largest life science clusters in Europe.

With a long and remarkable history of medical and scientific discovery stretching back 200 years, Scotland has always been at the forefront of medical innovation. Research at Scottish universities has in the past been responsible for discovering the anaesthetic properties of chloroform, however today it is leading the way in fields as diverse as genetics.

Over the years, pioneering work that has taken place in Scotland's universities and research institutes, has accomplished:

  • The development of MRI and CAT scanners
  • The discovery of p53 cancer suppressor gene
  • World-recognised research in diabetes and cancer
  • ReNeuron's groundbreaking stem cell trial for stroke patients
  • The cloning of ‘Dolly’ the sheep
  • The first genetically engineered hepatitis B vaccine

Scotland maintains this rich heritage with high levels of expertise, a culture of innovation, and continuing research excellence, which together have resulted in a thriving, growing industry on the brink of new discoveries.

Chemical Sciences

Scotland has a long-established chemicals industry which is integral to the European Union (EU) and world chemicals markets. The chemical sciences industry is Scotland’s second top exporter, with exports valued at £3.2 billion per year.

The world's leading chemical companies, including INEOS, FujiFilm, DSM, Ciba, GlaxoSmithKline, Dupont, Organon, DOW and Syngenta all operate in Scotland, making and exporting raw material-based products derived from North Sea oil and gas.

Saltire Prize

The £10 million Saltire Prize is a unique international challenge that will confirm Scotland’s ambition to become the leading force in clean, green, marine energy, and encourage revolutionary commercial breakthroughs in wave and tidal energy.

The prize sparked global interest before four companies were selected to enter the Grand Challenge phase:

  • Aquamarine Power
  • MeyGen
  • Pelamis Wave Power
  • ScottishPower Renewables

All four are currently deploying marine energy devices in Scottish waters and will play a key role in helping to achieve Scotland's ambitious renewable energy targets.

The winner will be the individual, team or organisation that achieves the greatest volume of electrical output over the set minimum hurdle of 100GWh over a continuous two year period, using only the power of the sea.

For more info, visit the Saltire Prize website