Chemical sciences and industrial biotechnology

Scottish chemicals exports at £4.5 billion

Scottish chemicals exports account for £4.5 billion a year

Making the sector second only to food and drink.

The world's leading chemical companies, including FujiFilm, DSM, GlaxoSmithKline, DuPont Teijin Films, DOW and Syngenta all have Scottish operations. 

These companies benefit not only from our talented workforce and excellent transport infrastructure, but also from our world-class research and development (R&D) capabilities. It's time to join them.

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Green chemistry

Research excellence

Scotland's chemical sciences R&D is consistently ranked in the top three in the world.

Scotland has long been associated with scientific and manufacturing excellence. This excellence continues to the present day, according to research by Elsevier our chemical sciences research base is consistently ranked top three in the world in terms of productivity and influence. 

So it’s not surprising that we have the likes of EastChem, the UK number 1 University chemistry department, among our range of world class institutions. 

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Sustainable manufacturing

There are many opportunities for industrial biotechnology, continuous manufacturing, and co-location.

Sustainable manufacturing will be at the forefront of chemical sciences in Scotland over the next ten years. Providing the right environment for sustainable manufacturing to flourish is at the core of the strategy, as laid out by our industry leadership group Chemical Sciences Scotland. We focus on three areas of sustainable manufacturing: 

As part of that broader strategy, we've made a plan for industrial biotechnology (IB) in Scotland. Our mission is to grow IB-related turnover  to £900m by 2025, and establish biorefinery and biochemical operations in Scotland in the same period. The IB innovation centre, IBioIC, is designed to encourage the commercialisation of biotech solutions in both the chemical and life sciences sectors.

Continuous manufacturing is essential to sustainability. Our centre for continuous manufacturing and crystallisation (CMAC) helps industry to exploit the advantages of this technology. CMAC aims to accelerate the adoption of continuous manufacturing processes, systems and plants - all for the low-cost, sustainable production of high quality chemical products.

If you're looking for a site with existing assets in terms of utility, feedstock, and supply chain, Scotland can offer excellent opportunities to co-locate with companies in areas with all of these things. Within our designated Enterprise Areas, companies benefit from generous incentives which range from discounted business rates to high speed broadband. 

Scottish graduates with the right skills for the chemical sciences industry

Skills for industry

Scotland produces around 1000 graduates a year with degrees in chemistry or a related subject - giving you access to plenty of talent.

Scotland's education system puts a strong focus on developing courses in line with business needs. 

Much of the chemicals research in Scottish universities is designed to address specific industrial issues, and the academic sector continues to develop and adapt to meet the needs of a modern economy. 

So Scottish graduates come not only with a world-class education, but also a world-ready outlook on the industry. 

Sector support

Chemical Sciences Scotland acts as the voice of the sector, which benefits from an accessible and responsive Scottish Government. There is a range of support available, including tax credits, incentives and grants.

R&D Tax Credits

Scotland offers substantial tax relief for research and development. The government's tax credit scheme can help you:

  • Create new, competitive products, services and processes
  • Find and access new markets
  • Provide high-quality skilled jobs

Patent Box

Got a great patented idea that you're eager to turn into a successful business? Benefit from lower rate of corporation tax of 10% until 2017 on any profits from commercialising your UK or EU patent here in Scotland.

R&D Grants

Scotland also provides R&D grants to support industrial research and experimental development. More information is available on the Scottish Enterprise website.

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