Data and data science

Scotland is the perfect place to do great things with data. Valuable expertise coupled with a breadth of experience across data-rich industries such as space, health, energy and fintech offer perfect opportunities for business.

Did you know?

The Personal Identification Number (PIN) you use with your credit or debit card was invented by a Scot in the 1960s.

100,000 people

already make up Scotland's strong digital tech workforce.

11 Scottish universities

are working with The Data Lab to grow the supply of data science expertise ready to face any challenge.

It's up to 40% more cost-effective

to locate to Scotland than other parts of the UK.

Source: Scottish Economic Statistics, Scottish Enterprise February 2021

Data capital of Europe

Scotland is home to the UK's largest school of informatics

Data is the future and that’s why Scotland is investing a further £661 million into securing our capital city – Edinburgh – as the Data Capital of Europe.

The University of Edinburgh's School of Informatics is the largest European centre of its kind with over 450 academic staff and 850 students. Educating undergraduate and postgraduate students via a wide range of courses – including artificial intelligence, cognitive science and computational linguistics – the school is just one of Scotland's many talent pools. What’s more, the school produces more world-leading research than any other university in the UK.

Data investment market opportunities

What makes Scotland the right choice for your data company and investment

Incubators and accelerators to nurture your first steps 

We’re home to CodeBase, the UK’s largest tech start-up incubator providing office and co-working spaces for more than 100 of the country’s most promising tech companies.

With locations in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Stirling, the incubators provide affordable and central office space with excellent facilities, meaning businesses can create and innovate without the worry of long-term leases.

Beyond property solutions, CodeBase also hosts events and offers mentorship and business support through its partnership with Barclays Ventures and PwC.

Access the skills and talent you need

From the oldest universities to cutting-edge collaborations, Scotland’s educators work with industry to inform future learning. Here’s just a few examples of how we’re shaping our brightest minds.

The Data Lab is an innovation centre which brings together experts to develop new data science capabilities. With a Scotland-wide presence and skills at its core, The Data Lab has a range of learning programmes to meet the demands of industry. Its MSc programme is a collaboration between 11 universities across Scotland, funding places on post-graduate courses in artificial intelligence, machine learning, fintech, data analytics and more.

The programme is unique in placing students in partner companies, enabling industry and academia to solve real-world challenges together.

Digital skills support for businesses locating in Scotland

Benefit from ongoing support

Community is important to Scotland – it’s a place where great minds come together. It’s a place where ambitious indigenous companies co-exist with some of the world’s leading tech giants such as Amazon, Adobe and Microsoft.

Underpinning this unique community is a supportive public sector and a government that is a strong advocate of using data for the economic and social benefit of citizens, businesses and research organisations.

ScotlandIS represents the digital technology industry in Scotland, from multinationals with a Scottish base to startups. The trade body has strong links across industry, helping companies to network and build their supply chains via access to innovative companies.

How we can help 

Scotland and UNICEF Data for Children Collaboration

Scotland has a unique collaboration with UNICEF to improve the mental health and wellbeing of children across the globe – from tackling childhood obesity to providing access to health services. At its heart is Scotland’s expertise in data science and the ethical use of data.

Read full article

UNICEF Data For Children Collaborative

Sharing ideas to tackle challenges

Community is an important part of Scotland's data story

Nowhere else in the world will you find a more open and collaborative tech community, where great minds in industry and academia come together to share ideas, tackle industry challenges head on and find solutions. Here’s a flavour of just some of the (virtual) events bringing the wider community together:

ENGAGE INVEST EXPLOIT (EIE) is one of the UK’s largest premier technology investor showcase, connecting global investors and businesses to meet Scotland’s most dynamic high growth tech startups and scaleups.

TURING FEST is one of Europe’s most exciting cross-functional tech conferences. This annual conference is hosted in Edinburgh and is designed to forge new connections between entrepreneurs, technologists and investors from all over the world.

DATA.SPACE raises awareness of the commercial opportunities that are being created by the accessibility of new space, providing a platform for startups, investors and decision-makers to network and discover our tomorrow, today.

DATA FEST shines a light on Scotland’s role in data science and artificial intelligence on the international stage. Hosted by the Data Lab, this programme of events allows you the opportunity to interact with industry, academia and data enthusiasts.

You might also be interested in

Why Rasa chose Edinburgh

From Silicon Valley to the 'data capital of Europe', read about Rasa’s ambition for its new technology hub in Edinburgh and talent to match. 

Data skills to match your needs

Scotland provides easy access to a growing talent pool of data science skills. It is the location of choice for tech companies looking to set up and grow.

Why Cherwell chose Scotland

Locating one of its research and development hubs in Dundee, Scotland, has delivered unexpected benefits for Colorado-based software business Cherwell.

Need help?

If you have a question about data opportunities in Scotland, our team of advisers can help.