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The Logan Review of the Scottish Technology Ecosystem

Here at MBM, we represent a significant number of high-growth tech companies in Scotland, so we know just how important these companies are to the Scottish economy. In fact, the tech sector contributed circa £5bn to the Scottish economy in 2018 and supported over 100,000 jobs according to a report from Skills Development Scotland.

Back in May 2020, the Scottish Government commissioned Mark Logan to undertake a review into how Scotland’s technology sector can contribute to the country’s post-pandemic economic recovery. The name ‘Mark Logan’ will be familiar to many of you – he was Chief Operating Officer at Skyscanner which, during his tenure, reached a market value of over $1.5bn.  The Logan Review is a detailed study of the state of Scotland’s tech ecosystem and describes the tech sector in Scotland as at a ‘pre-tipping’ point where we are on the cusp of seeing the effects of large clusters of tech firms operating to strengthen the ecosystem….but we aren’t quite there yet.

The Logan Review identifies three priority areas which support the performance of the technology ecosystem:

  • Education and Talent – starting at school level and university (and parallel access paths) but also continuing on to start-up/scale-up level.
  • Infrastructure - physical co-location environments for start-ups and the social infrastructure required to support a vibrant technology ecosystem.
  • Funding – private investment and public investment including grant funding.

The review then went on to consider each of these areas in detail before presenting 34 recommendations. Among the recommendations was a call for computing science to be elevated within the education system and treated on a par with essential subjects like maths and English. 

The Logan Report has been well received. The First Minister has already confirmed that the Scottish Government “intend to implement the recommendations in full”. Already, it has been announced that five technology hubs will be established giving Scotland’s budding entrepreneurs a chance to network, share ideas and get access to training and mentoring. 

Scotland’s economy, just like many others, faces significant challenges as we look to come out the other side of the pandemic. Scotland’s tech companies have long played a pivotal role in the economy and it is even more important that we help them continue to develop and prosper.  When it comes to the tech sector, Scotland has always punched above its weight on the global stage and if Scotland can implement the key outcomes of the review and prioritise tech education whilst nurturing the future tech industry leaders, a more valuable technology ecosystem and stronger economy will follow.

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