Scottish Chemicals Sector
Scottish Chemical Sciences Sector

Washing your hair, driving a car and even seeing this very website through a screen – we rely on the chemical sector for all sorts of activities every day. And in Scotland, we have a flourishing, innovative industry whose contribution to Scotland’s economic past, present and future is immense.

Some of the world’s leading chemical companies like FujiFilm, GlaxoSmithKline, Ineos and Syngenta have Scottish operations, and sit alongside a growing number of small and medium sized businesses in the sector working in a multitude of technologies. These businesses benefit not only from the talented workforce and transport infrastructure, but also from the access to our world-renowned academic institutions, and Scotland’s never-ending drive for innovation.

Scotland’s chemical sciences sector covers all areas of chemical sciences, from basic chemicals – such as ethylene and commodity polymers – to intermediates and specialities, and through to pharma and agchem active ingredients such as vaccines and pesticides. With strong expertise in industrial biotechnology and continuous manufacturing, Scotland has been leading the way in innovative sustainable chemical manufacturing.

Chemistry is a vital science, core to many other sectors and one that underpins fields as diverse as medicine and the energy industry. Here are some key facts about the sector:

  • It contains over 200 companies, large and small
  • 10,000 people are directly employed in the industry
  • This rises to 70,000 when you include dependent services
  • It’s responsible for exports of £4.2bn
  • Which is 17% of Scotland’s total exports – second only to the food & drink industry.
  • Scotland’s universities outperform the rest of the UK when it comes to world-leading and internationally excellent research in chemistry
  • Scotland has over 110 companies involved in Industrial Biotechnology
  • Scotland is a global leader, investing £18m in the circular economy
  • Scotland has an emerging international reputation in Industrial Biotechnology (IB) reflecting the cooperation and leadership coming from industry and Government.
  • Scotland’s main strengths lie in our research excellence and highly skilled workforce. We have an abundance of sustainable raw materials and Industrial Biotechnology plays a key role in the future of sustainable manufacturing in Scotland utilising these raw materials to reduce Scotland’s dependency on fossil fuel resources.

Academic & Industry Links

Scotland’s academic excellence is world-renowned, and many businesses benefit from working closely with the education system to explore new and...

Find out more

Innovation within the Sector

Scotland is a country with a worldwide reputation for innovation, and various incentives are available such as Scottish Enterprise’s Research...

Find out more

Case Studies

Read more about some of Scotland’s flourishing Chemical Sciences companies.

Find out more

Download the CSS logo for your website.

Show your involvement with CSS by downloading our logo and proudly displaying it on your website, email footer or anywhere else you want.

Download our logo