Scotland – a true hub of innovation

Eloisa Tovee 10th December 2021

Edinburgh. Steeped in bronze-toed poets, above the knee-length tartan (by order of Queen Victoria) and pubs devoted to history’s most notable criminals – or so I learnt on a recent walking tour.

I also learnt the scots were behind such creations as penicillin, the hypodermic syringe, mammal cloning, the telephone, the toaster, the flushing toilet, criminal fingerprinting, steamboats, postal stamps, fax machines, and golf.

And whisky.

Obviously.

It’s incredible to think that much of today’s modern world was shaped by our neighbours North of the border – and that they were willing to share these inventions with the world after so many tried to take their castle, time, and time, and time again…

Whilst the scots have certainly earnt an early retirement from STEM subjects, they seem far more interested in furthering their strides in the technology industry. With an impressive 11,200 tech companies contributing £6.5 billion to the Scottish economy in 2021[1], Scotland has become a true hub of innovation, constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible across the full spectrum of technology.

Considered the data capital of Europe (sorry Brexit!), technology has been the fastest growing industry in Scotland long before the pandemic hit. In fact, Scotland has the highest number of verified start-ups (2,442) outside of London[2], making it one of the UK’s biggest tech hubs.

Collectively, this army of start-ups raised £346 million in venture capital funding in 2020[3], helping the UK’s tech sector grow tenfold in the last 10 years[4]. Scotland is also home to three unicorns – Brewdog, Skyscanner and FanDuel, with another four on the verge of being awarded their spiralling horn (otherwise known as ‘futurecorns’).

As noted by Caroline Dinenage, Minister for Digital: “Scotland’s flourishing tech scene not only attracts investment from global companies such as Amazon and Rockstar Games but is also a production line for stellar homegrown firms including Skyscanner and FanDuel”.

And to think, some people mocked Scotland for donning the unicorn on their royal coat of arms!

By 2024, Scotland’s IT and software industry is forecast to grow by 38%[5]. To help unlock economic growth and boost jobs, the UK Government has committed £300m to Edinburgh and the South-East of Scotland. Included in this pot of money is the creation of five innovation hubs covering robotics and space technologies. A further £13 million will be invested in six science centres – two to sit in Dundee and Glasgow – and £30m has been provided to the University of Edinburgh’s Bayes Centre to support the development of world-leading technology within the AI space. The hope is these pledges will attract further investment to the region and support high-value jobs for the future.

In the words of Scottish Government Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy, Kate Forbes MSP:

“It’s great to see Glasgow and Edinburgh once again recognised as powerful twin centres for tech investment in the UK. With only 45 minutes between these two complementary cities, they have rightly established themselves at the vanguard of gaming, cloud computing, biotech, cyber security and data-led solutions.”

With this surge of investment comes the creation of new jobs – 31% of Edinburgh-based job roles already sit within the tech sector. Whilst hugely problematic due to the current tech skills shortage, it does create a welcomed opportunity for those wanting to be at the forefront of digital innovation without the need to relocate to the big smoke.

ECS, a GlobalLogic company is proud to be a part of this opportunity. With our UK&I headquarters in Glasgow, our second biggest office nestled in Edinburgh’s Haymarket district and our first client the Royal Bank of Scotland, our alliance to the Scottish tech scene goes back just a wee bit.

Focused on three core areas: Design, Engineering and Data, we help brands design and build innovative products, platforms, and digital experiences for the modern world. This enables our clients to imagine what’s possible and accelerate their transition into tomorrow’s digital businesses. But we can’t do this alone.

We are on the lookout for those with the technical know-how to make change happen and are presently hiring for:

  • Java Developers
  • Python Developers
  • DevOps Engineer (mid and Snr level)
  • Data Engineers
  • Principal Consultant – Cloud
  • Principal Consultant – Data
  • Agile Project Manager
  • Enterprise Business Architect
  • Senior Cloud Engineers
  • Front End Developers

If any of these catch your eye and you’d like so more information – or you’re intrigued by the notion of working for the UK’s leader in digital product engineering and joining our exclusive pool of 20,000+ engineers around the globe – we’d love to hear from you!

I’ll finish up by saying Gardyloo.

It makes absolutely no sense in this context, but it’s something else I learnt on the tour!

 

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More about the author: 

Eloisa Tovee is the Content and Marketing Manager at ECS, overseeing content strategy, GTM campaigns and the promotion of thought leadership at ECS. When Eloisa is not sketching scamps or scribbling new content ideas, you can find her on LinkedIn here.

 

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[1] Source: Scottish Economic Statistics, Scottish Enterprise February 2021

[2] https://technation.io/report2021/

[3] Tech Nation, Dealroom, 2021

[4] https://www.gov.uk/government/news/scotlands-future-unicorns-thrive-after-decade-of-tech-success

[5] Source: Scottish Economic Statistics, Scottish Enterprise February 2021

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