After being commissioned by Scottish Government, in 2020 Mark Logan published a review of the Scottish Technology Ecosystem “the Review”. His report identified that the Scottish eco-system is at pre-tipping point, where critical mass has not quite been achieved and therefore you do not get the benefit of “several virtuous network effects which start to spontaneously operate to continually strengthen the ecosystem without further intervention required.”
The Review identified three fundamental supporting areas which a successful technology ecosystem depends on:
- Education and Talent
It is the second point identified that is of particular interest to Elements Edinburgh. The Review goes on to explain that Infrastructure “includes physical co-location environments for start-ups and the social infrastructure required to support a vibrant technology ecosystem.”
An ecosystem is an environment where tech related ideas evolve into start up organisations which then develop and integrate into larger organisations.
At Elements Edinburgh our ambition is to build a place that will be Scotland’s digital heart. It has been forecast by Scottish Futures Trust that 175,000 new digital jobs will be created in Scotland by 2030, of which 52,500 will be in the Edinburgh region. At Elements Edinburgh there will be 1 million sq.ft of commercial space designed to provide an environment to develop start-ups, grow established digital organisations and integrate them with digital education centres. Elements Edinburgh will support a flourishing digital ecosystem with 6,000+ jobs delivering £450M+ GVA (Gross Value Add) to the Scottish economy (Biggar Economics – see below).
This place for these tech companies will be integrated with an intergenerational community who live at Elements Edinburgh and who will share local community amenities and green parkland, allowing every generation to become curious and able to engage with this digital ecosystem.
Elements Edinburgh’s location allows international organisations to establish a UK regional office next to a well-connected international travel hub as well as offering employees all the benefits of living in a city like Edinburgh. With Edinburgh Gateway Station on its doorstep the location provides easy access to train and tram links.
At Elements Edinburgh we invited Biggar Economics “Biggar” to undertake an independent economic analysis of the masterplan, with a key focus on our aspirations to develop a digital ecosystem for organisations at various stages of the growth life cycle. Biggar highlighted that the digital sector is one of the growth sectors of the Scottish economy and it drives a GVA per employee that is 73% higher than the Scottish economy average. Edinburgh already has in place established infrastructure in the digital arena, and by creating a new place for organisations to come together in spaces that will foster collaboration and knowledge exchange, this will foster further productivity growth. The development would integrate the existing digital economy landscape and offer new opportunities, in particular the extension westward of the “digital corridor” between University of Edinburgh in the city and Fountainbridge, linking this corridor to an international travel hub at Edinburgh Airport. Elements Edinburgh would also offer an additional space for expanding businesses and international investors looking to invest in Scotland’s digital talent.