Scotland National Strategy for Economic Transformation: industry leadership groups and sector groups - evidence

This paper provides summary evidence received from Scotland's industry leadership groups and other economic sector groups as part of the National Strategy for Economic Transformation engagement process.

3. Chemical Engineering Sector

Figure 3.1 – Turnover and GVA of the Scottish Chemical Engineering Sector [5]
Figure 3.2 – Employment of the Scottish Chemical Engineering Sector [6]

Industry Aspirations to 2030

The Chemical Sciences Scotland (CSS) Strategic Plan published in 2018 set the following goals:

  • Scotland’s biotechnology industry to grow GVA from £750 million to £900 million;
  • to establish a key European Hub for sustainable high value chemical manufacturing to increase GVA by £410 million;
  • to establish Scotland as a world class centre of high value manufacturing that will generate £1 billion in savings through the impact of technology and formulation optimisation and data driven innovation.

Industry Opportunities

The industry sees key opportunities in decarbonisation. The CSS Strategic Plan identifies 4 main priorities and opportunities:

  • establishing Grangemouth as a European hub for sustainable high value manufacturing;
  • building capabilities in industrial biotechnology to fully realise Scotland’s potential as a global leader;
  • establishing Scotland as a world class centre of high value manufacturing by driving innovation in key selected technology sectors to enhance indigenous growth, increase inward investment and to create opportunities for reshoring production; and,
  • ensuring that relevant, industrially focussed technical and vocational skills training is accessible to the widest possible audience across Scotland.

Industry Challenges

Key areas of challenge for the sector include:

  • adapting to environmental policies and making production sustainable;
  • skills shortages and reduced access to talent pool following EU exit, as well as divergence from EU regulations;
  • digitisation & Industry 4.0;
  • maintaining skills alignment with global changes and new technologies, and ensuring that employer demands are met; and,
  • supply chain reshoring.

Ongoing and Planned Activity for Industry

The current and planned activities for the industry include:

  • plans to transform the chemical industries as an opportunity area in the Inward Investment Plan.
  • delivering the National Plan for Industrial Biotechnology (IB), which sets out how we can make the most of economic opportunities presented by IB and support the transition of petrochemical based industries to sustainable manufacturing.
  • the Falkirk Growth Deal and Grangemouth Future Industry Board is transforming the Grangemouth site into a hub for sustainable high value manufacturing that can help move the industry towards net zero emissions.
  • industry, education and enterprise agencies are working in partnership to develop skills and training in the sector; and,
  • a joint initiative between Life Sciences Scotland and CSS to develop a world class centre of high value manufacturing.



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