Scotland business

Physics-based businesses boost Scottish economy

Almost 10% of the Scottish economic output comes from physics-based sectors, according to new research.

The Institute of Physics (IOP) report showed the contribution of physics-based businesses to the economy was up £1bn since 2005 to £8.5bn in 2010.

The sector contributes 9.8% Gross Value Added (GVA) to the economy, compared with the total UK average of 8.5%.

Physics-based businesses are those that must respond and adapt to latest advances in research.

The IOP said the definition included some architectural and engineering activities, manufacturing, some oil and gas activities, telecommunications, and electricity production.

'Time to build'

Coherent Scotland, a manufacturer of cutting-edge laser systems based at the West Scotland Science Park in Glasgow, is one example.

Professor Sir Peter Knight, IOP president, said: "Physics drives the economy of Scotland, and Scotland leads the UK.

"Physics-based businesses contribute a greater share of the economy of Scotland than their counterparts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

"Now is the time to build on this advantage."

Alison McLure, the IOP's national officer in Scotland, said: "These figures demonstrate the productivity of our physics-based sectors and how crucial physics is to employment opportunities.

"It is particularly interesting to note that the physics-based sectors employ a greater number than the finance sector does."

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