Putting start-ups at heart of recovery

Report on expanding technology sector.

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes has welcomed recommendations for developing a world-class technology sector in Scotland.

Recognising the sector’s potential for innovation and high growth, a report from entrepreneur Mark Logan outlines ways of creating more jobs, increasing investment in Scottish start-ups and improving computing science education.

Mr Logan, who helped the flight comparison site Skyscanner gain a market value of over $1.5 billion during his time as chief operating officer, has made 34 recommendations including:

  • creating a national network of hubs for tech start-ups, offering world-class Silicon Valley training programmes, intensive mentoring, access to funding opportunities and the chance to share ideas with other entrepreneurs
  • establishing a new fund to make strategic investments in the Scottish tech sector, for instance in tech conferences, events to attract external investors and start-up summer schools for students 
  • providing more software engineering courses for those looking to change careers into the sector

Ms Forbes 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 (COVID-19) 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.

“The crisis also provides us with an opportunity to reshape the economy to be fairer, greener and more innovative, and tech companies have the dynamism and growth potential to make this a reality.

“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.”

Mr Logan said:

“I’m very excited by this close collaboration between the Scottish Government and our technology sector.

“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.

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

Jane Morrison-Ross, chief executive of ScotlandIS, said:

"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.

"ScotlandIS champions digital skills and is strongly in favour of the recommendations in the report. Taking them forward is key to creating an inclusive, innovative digital Scotland and will provide ample return on investment."


Read Mark Logan's Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review.

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

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


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