Scotland’s tech industry is predicted to “grow rapidly” in the next five years, according to a new report from UKTN.

Eight out of 10 tech leaders say the sector is set to expand in the second half of the decade, with 76% stating that Scotland had become ‘more attractive’ to start a tech firm in the past five years.

A total of 86% said they would encourage other similar firms to launch in Scotland and 80% stressed they had received advantages to setting up and running their firms in the region, according to the survey sponsored by KPMG.

Amy Burnett, emerging giants lead – Scotland, KPMG in the UK (pictured below), said: “It is great to read such positive noise from business leaders when it comes to the tech industry in Scotland.

“What the results of this report show are that the region is clearly a hotbed for the industry, is open to investment and poised for significant growth in the coming years.”

The report ranked fintech as a strength for Scotland followed closely by health tech, with climate tech and deep tech cited as emerging specialisms.

Tech leaders also highlighted the ability to secure funding as the main challenge in the sector closely followed by hiring the right kind of staff. Almost a third of respondents said they have personally experienced challenges securing funding for their business.

‘More support for entrepreneurs’ was cited as the most popular factor that could drive tech growth, with many respondents raising concerns about a mismatch between the skills required in the tech sector and the educational curriculum in schools and colleges, calling for initiatives to reform educational curriculums to meet skills gaps. 

Respondents feel that attracting more global tech businesses to Scotland could encourage more strategic partnerships across the tech sector and foster innovation, while encouraging growing businesses to stay in Scotland.

Burnett added: “The tech industry is growing at one and a half times the overall economy; it now includes close to 15,000 firms and 400,000 employees. Covering all areas from net zero to clean tech, the scale is wide, the scope epic and the possibilities endless.

“The tech ecosystem has flourished in recent years, and as a result Scotland is really putting itself on the global map. So much so that it is now a vital contributor to the health and wellbeing of our economy.”

Out of 72 survey respondents, more than half (56%) worked in or near Edinburgh, 25% worked in or near Glasgow and the rest were split across Dundee, Aberdeen, Stirling, Dumfries and Inverness. 

The majority of respondents (58%) were tech company founders or owners, and respondents otherwise represented business support organisations, service providers, investors, tech event organisers and academics.