Why Scotland Is Still at the Forefront of Innovation
Scotland is famed as being a land of innovation. Why so many great discoveries and inventions have come out of a place with barely 6 million inhabitants has been the subject of much fevered debate. Some put it down to the poor weather, keeping Scots holed up in doors solving the rest of the world’s problems. Whatever way you look at it, there’s no arguing that Scotland punches well above its weight in terms of invention and discovery.
Penicillin, pneumatic tyres, the decimal point, wire rope, hypodermic needles, and much, much more have started life in Caledonia. The tradition seems to be showing no signs of slowing, as 21st Century Scotland remains at the centre of some of the most exciting businesses in the world. Here’s a few who are at the very cutting edge.
This Edinburgh-based travel company was started by a group of colleagues who were struggling to find the best deal in flights from competing airlines. Today the platform hosts tens of millions of users and compares many flight deals across the world. Its brilliance is vested in its simplicity. Want to fly somewhere? Skyscanner will show you the cheapest way to get there. In 2016, Skyscanner was sold to a Chinese travel firm for a cool £1.4 billion.
Many would argue that Nobel Prize winning Sir Alexander Fleming put Scots on the map as innovators in medicine. While that claim is debatable, there’s no denying that the torch has been taken up by companies like Touch Bionics. The Livingston based producers of artificial and bionic limbs was originally based in the NHS, but have become a standalone venture. Their products are life changing for those need them as they strive to improve the lives of those who require replacement limbs.
The world of computer gaming has grown dramatically in the last few decades thanks to advancements in technology. One Scottish game producer that has been at the very edge of this curve is Rockstar North. Most famous for creating the Grand Theft Auto franchise, this game publisher is regarded as a hallmark in quality and pushing the envelope in what gamers look for. One of their latest instalments, 2015’s GTA V, has sold 80 million copies worldwide and is one the most highly regarded computer games of all time.
Glasgow and the West of Scotland has always carried a proud engineering tradition thanks to the ship building that the Clyde was once famous for. Today, the Weir Group are at the front of the pack in providing engineering solutions to projects across the world. Whether it’s providing Italian produced Gabbioneta pumps to industrial projects or developing the latest in flow control, the Weir Group holds a reputation of providing the best tools for the job.
The world of digital media is on that is fast moving. Thanks to the likes of Twitter we can see the rise and fall of companies and figures over the course of a single day. Becoming a well-established brand in this field is a notoriously difficult thing to achieve. Mashable has managed to achieve dominance in this world for over a decade, thanks to its ability to move with the times. The site was started by Aberdeen University student Pete Cashmore in 2005, but has grown to be a globally recognised blog with an NYC headquarters and over 3 million Facebook fans.
As you can see, Scotland is still the land of the inventor and the home of the world’s next big things. We can hope to see Scotland continuing to be leading the charge, as long as the weather stays rainy.
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