Academia helps boost Scottish cyber sector
Report finds university spin-outs and degree courses are big contributors to success
Scotland’s cybersecurity sector is thriving, a report from tech industry body ScotlandIS has found.
According to the 'Scottish Cyber Cluster Analysis Report', Scotland is an internationally recognised hub for cyber and tech skills, with around 230 cyber companies, almost half of which are founded or headquartered in Scotland.
Around 10 new Scottish cyber companies have been set up each year in the past five years, which equates to nearly 30% growth over the period, and over half of the sector is made up of SMEs or early stage start-ups.
However, while most of the sector consists of small companies, 20% are larger corporations.
As well as Scottish-based start-ups, there were significant moves into the country, with 56% of the non-Scottish companies having set up in Scotland within the past five years.
University spin-outs remained an important source of growth too, particularly in 2020, with recent spin-outs including Lupovis, which is a spin-out from the University of Strathclyde, PRC from the University of Glasgow and Memcrypt from Edinburgh Napier University.
Seven in ten Scottish universities now offer cyber security courses and the number of undergraduates taking cyber courses doubled from 200 to 400 between 2014 and 2019.
Ciara Mitchell, head of cyber at ScotlandIS, said: “Scotland’s cyber sector continues to go from strength to strength. This report demonstrates that Scotland has real strength in depth, with companies ranging from small start-ups to large corporates. As well as attracting inward investment from the likes of Cisco and Corero, there’s a wide range of high-growth home-made businesses that are starting to attract a lot of attention.”
She added: “University start-ups are a great source of new business growth and it’s important that these companies are supported. The sector is delivering well-paid jobs and providing much-needed employment. However, with Scotland lagging a little behind other parts of the UK in attracting investment in our cyber sector, there’s still work to be done.”
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