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New Report Explores ‘World-Class’ Potential of Scottish Tech Sector

Ross Kelly

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Scottish tech sector

The report calls for the creation of ‘startup summer schools’ and the establishment of a national hub network for startups.

The Scottish Government has welcomed recommendations to help further develop the Scottish tech sector.

A report led by entrepreneur Mark Logan has outlined the Scottish tech sector’s potential for innovation and high growth; exploring job creation, investment in startups and the impact of education on the sector itself.

Logan, who previously served as chief operating officer at Skyscanner, was asked by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes in May 2020 to conduct the review to establish how the sector can contribute to the country’s post-Covid economic recovery.

The Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review makes 34 recommendations in total, including the creation of a national network of hubs for technology startups and the establishment of a new fund to make investments in the Scottish tech sector.

The proposed investment fund would, for instance, provide funding for tech conferences or events aimed at attracting external investors.

Logan also called for the creation of ‘startup summer schools’ for students and greater investment in re-skilling for people seeking jobs in the tech sector itself.

Commenting on the report, he said: “The initiatives outlined in this review would help accelerate us towards a world-class technology ecosystem, of which the nation can be proud.”

According to a report last year from Skills Development Scotland, the technology sector contributed £4.9 billion to the Scottish economy in 2018 and supported almost 100,000 jobs.

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Logan added: “The talent and ambition within the sector is the strongest I’ve seen in decades and creates enormous potential, not only in helping Scotland navigate this challenging period but also in generating jobs and opportunity for our people well into the future.”

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said the report will help shape policy and outline actions that will enhance the global appeal of the Scottish tech sector.

She said: “This report provides an industry-led blueprint for the Scottish tech industry, outlining the actions necessary to elevate the sector to a world-class level.

“There can be no doubt that Scotland’s economy faces significant challenges as we emerge from the coronavirus crisis. I believe tech companies have a central part to play in this recovery, so helping them to flourish is now more important than ever.”

Forbes added: “I asked Mark Logan to review the sector in recognition of this, and I look forward to outlining how we plan to take forward his ambitious recommendations.”

The Scottish Government’s response to the report will be included in the 2020/21 Programme for Government.

Jane Morrison-Ross, chief executive of ScotlandIS, welcomed the report publication, stating: “I am delighted to see the publication of the ecosystem review. I believe we need this innovative, national, strategic approach to create a tech permaculture that will help us put Scotland on the global map as a digital nation.”

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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