Industry News

Scottish Physics-Based Business Sector Leads in UK

Valerie Coffey

October 26, 2012—Research from a new report by the Institute of Physics (IOP) in Scotland finds that Scotland has proportionately more physics-based businesses powering its economy compared to neighboring nations.

Physics-based business employs a total of 4.6 percent of the Scottish workforce, contributing 9.8 percent of the total Scottish economic output. Physics-based sectors, including some architectural and engineering activities, manufacturing, some oil and gas activities, telecommunications and electricity production, contributed proportionately 10 percent more direct Gross Value Added (GVA) to the Scottish economy between 2005 and 2010 compared to 8.5 percent of the total U.K. average over the same period.

Sir Peter Knight, President of IOP, said, “Physics drives the economy of Scotland, and Scotland leads the U.K.: 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.”

Despite the recession, the contribution of physics-based businesses sectors to the economy in Scotland has grown by £1 billion since 2005 to £8.5 billion in 2010. This is more than the finance sector, which contributes £7 billion, and tourism, which contributes £2.9 billion. Expanding the numbers to including indirect effects from supply chains and downstream spending, physics-based sectors account for a total of £12.5 billion of Scottish economic output, and 184,000 jobs.

The full report can be viewed at www.iopscotland.org.


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