Evolution of ICT Manufacturing in Scotland: Implications for a Knowledge Economy

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The paper identifies changes in the structure of the Information & Communications Technology (ICT) manufacturing sector in Scotland, with specific reference to the major closures and redundancies announced during the period 2001-03, and examine the implications of these changes for the development of the Scottish knowledge economy. In particular, the relationship between industry restructuring and industry R&D structure is considered. ICT manufacturing is considered to play a core role in economic development, both as a successful producing sector in its own right, and as a source of growth and a driver of productivity in other areas of economic activity. Links are drawn between ICT manufacturing, especially FDI sourced, and a range of benefits at firm and wider economy levels. Drawing on a number of secondary sources and being informed by a series of discussions with industry representatives, the paper denotes a sharp decline in Scottish ICT manufacturing job numbers, export levels, and to some extent, number of employers. However, the economic outputs of the sector, as measured by GVA, has been less severely affected and changes in the scale, composition and character of industry R&D, suggest that the indirect contribution of the sector to the development of a knowledge economy, through mechanisms such as workforce up-skilling, demonstration effects, and linkages with local suppliers and customers are likely to be more prevalent than in the period prior to the 2001-03 restructuring.


Keywords: Regional Economic Development, Information & Communications Technology Knowledge Economy, Research & Development, Innovation, Foreign Direct Investment
Stream: Economics and Management
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Prof. Sean McDonald

Associate Professor of Geography, Department of International Studies, Bentley College
Waltham, MA, USA

Sean M. McDonald is currently an Associate Professor of Geography at Bentley College; he holds a doctorate in geography from Scotland's Glasgow University. Former International Trade Specialist with the United States Department of Commerce and Director of the Consortium of American Business Programs in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union, his work for the U.S. Commerce Department and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) focused on market penetration strategies for U.S. firms in Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia. McDonald's publications include refereed articles, book chapters, manuals for business on cross-cultural management, and writing for the U.S. Department of Commerce. His work on European regional development appears in specialist media and he gives regular presentations before many professional conferences and seminars

Dr. Alastair McPherson

Evaluation Manager, Strategy and Evaluation, Scottish Enterprise
Glasgow, Scotland, UK


Ref: I08P0399