In May this year, Mark Logan, the former COO of  flight booking company Skyscanner, was commissed by the Scottish Government to conduct a review of the Scottish tech sector and how it might contribute to any post pandemic economic recovery. 

Among his 34 proposals revealed last week is a call to treat computing science as an essential subject such as maths and physics. He also suggests incentives for universities to produce more home-grown software engineers, along with interventions to maximise the volume and success rate of spin-out companies. Logan further recommends the creation of a new network of hubs for tech start-ups.

We asked three prominent figures from Scotland’s tech ecosystem what they thought of the proposals...

Colin Hewitt, CEO, Float
I’m delighted to see the endorsement of CodeClan and incubators like CodeBase and eco-system investment in the likes of Turing Festival and EIE. Also in more regular meetups like TechMeetup, Startup Grind and Product Tank. 

I’d also like to see the universities funded to employee more “entrepreneurs in residence”, bringing in talent annually from the global market.  The funnel works in reverse too – we need more Mark Logans and Gareth Williams to become the educators and the mentors, we’re badly missing at the moment.  

The other suggestion is that at board level, I see too many start-ups being hampered by boards that are pushing them in the wrong direction and not helping them get where they need to be.  Board level education and startups that are struggling with angels on their board with very little tech experience is demoralising and distracting for fledgling startups. 

We’ve been very grateful for small grants in the early days in the form of Launch.ed and the Scottish Edge.  These grants make the top of the funnel and we need more of them.  

Jane Morrison-Ross, CEO ScotlandIS
I’m very supportive of the Logan report, we do need to take a national, strategic and whole systems view of how we build a digital nation. 
Education and skills has to be at the heart of it – if we do this properly, from primary onwards, we could build a nation of confident, empowered children and young people.

It’s not just about computing science or software engineering, though, it’s maths, creativity, critical thinking and confidence building. It’s rebranding computer science, it’s putting creativity back into tech, it’s embedding digital skills into every subject.

Lets not underestimate our colleges and universities either – we have a national tertiary education network that can deliver accessible, accelerated digital skills.  We have an industry that is ready and willing to collaborate and get behind this, and we have SDS working hard to create change.

We must break down silos at school, in tertiary education and between sectors and disciplines. An ecosystem is good – a permaculture is better.

Stephen Ingledew, CEO FinTech Scotland
“Time for action” are the three words sum up the Logan review. The pragmatic and action oriented recommendations are progressive, perceptive and pivotal to a thriving technology  innovative ecosystem. Furthermore , the review stands out as a role model template by which all Government initiated reviews should be based on.

Much is rightly be made of the focus on developing people tech skills and fuelling innovation funding, however, the value of the ‘third leg’ of the technology ecosystem, namely infrastructure must also be acted upon.

Further developing the physical and virtual environments through infrastructure enablers would bolster the innovation environment for both ‘home grown’ entrepreneurial talent across the generations as well as a globally diverse creative spirit which thrives on the value of inclusivity. 

In fact, Mark Logan emphasises the importance of the Review’s complete comprehensive package being acted upon rather than comprising as separate initiatives. 

The proposed balanced scorecard to measure the integrated progress will be an essential accountability tool in delivering this on both an economic and social level.


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