Companies in Scotland

Thousands of companies across a range of sectors have chosen to set up in Scotland. Find out what convinced them to come here.

Technology and engineering


California-based Xilinx has invested £4.9 million in its Edinburgh R&D centre to explore opportunities related to 5G.

The company set up in Edinburgh in 1993 after acquiring a spin-out from the University of Edinburgh called Algotronix. It was Xilinx’s first R&D venture outside the US.

Dr Colin Carruthers, director of Xilinx Scotland, said, “Scotland has a long history of invention and innovation, and it is a privilege to be able to help architect the communication platforms of the future.”

Find out more about Xilinx from Scottish Development International

Financial and business services


Australian fintech company Encompass chose Scotland as its UK base, and the availability of skilled university graduates in Glasgow was a big part of the reason why.

Encompass’ Scottish workforce focuses on the Know Your Client (‘KYC’)/Anti-Money Laundering (‘AML’) markets. It also develops global products relating to robotic process automation.

Alex Ford, vice president of marketing and operations, said, “Everyone here is very friendly. We’ve been able to quickly become part of local networks like the IFSD (International Financial Services District) and SFE (Scottish Financial Enterprise)."

Find out more about Encompass from Scottish Development International

Global business services

Rooney and Nimmo

Allan Rooney, a Scot in New York, set up his own legal firm. Now with partner John Nimmo, a Scot in Scotland, they run Rooney Nimmo, a successful corporate law firm on both sides of the Atlantic.

Their knowledge means they are able to offer advice to Scottish and UK companies looking to expand into US market. They can also support US companies that are investing in Scotland, the UK and Europe.

Allan said, “There is tremendous potential in Scotland because of the level of skills available. Its education system produces a remarkable number of skilled people, and currently those skills are relatively affordable to the US market.”

Find out more Rooney Nimmo from Scottish Development International

Life sciences and biotech


American diabetes management company Dexcom established its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) headquarters in Edinburgh.

The Edinburgh office manages all the commercial, operational, technical support and R&D operations in the EMEA region.

John Lister, general manager for EMEA at Dexcom, said, “We feel there’s a good cultural match between Dexcom and Scotland’s reputation for innovation, especially here in Edinburgh, with its skilled and experienced workforce.”

Find out more about Dexcom from Scottish Development International

Aerospace and space


Skilled talent, access to risk capital and the support we offer to innovative companies are among the top reasons that Californian satellite-powered data company Spire chose to set up in Scotland.

Spire collects unique data from satellite constellations, pulls it down through a network of ground stations and sells the data as a service through an API.

Peter Platzer, CEO of Spire, said, “In terms of character, work ethic and passion for what they do, we have found the people that we have been able to attract in Scotland to be absolutely world-class.”

Find out more about Spire from Scottish Development International



Masdar, a renewable energy company from Abu Dhabi, invested £52.5 million in Hywind Scotland, a 30MW floating offshore wind farm on the north east coast of Scotland.

Hywind Scotland consists of five 6MW floating wind turbines anchored to the seabed. The investment means that Masdar’s UK electricity generating capacity is now 1.06GW.

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, chief executive officer of Masdar, said, "Hywind Scotland represents the next stage in the evolution of the offshore wind industry."

Find out more about Hywind from Scottish Development International

Oil and gas


China-based iRes-Geo Technology opened up a base at Heriot-Watt University’s Research Park in Edinburgh.

Its Scottish team is working to maximise opportunities in exploration, appraisal, development and field maturation projects.

David Rennie, the international sector head of oil and gas for Scottish Development International, said, “Our skills, experience and expertise, together with our world-class training facilities and strengths in innovation, made Scotland the location of choice for iRes-Geo Technology Ltd.”

Find out more about iRes-Geo from Scottish Development International

Chemical sciences and industrial biotechnology


Global healthcare company GSK’s link to Scotland dates back to 1952, when it opened a manufacturing plant in Montrose. It followed with a site in Irvine 20 years later.

The Irvine plant produces active ingredients which are used in two of the company’s leading antibiotics. On the east coast, the Montrose plant makes a range of active ingredients that are used to treat conditions such as HIV/AIDS, respiratory diseases, hypertension, flu and dermatological disease.

The company said, “GSK benefits through investment support, the Scottish economy benefits through the jobs and services created by a large business, and the people of Scotland and beyond benefit from the availability of world-class medicines made right here in Scotland.”

Find out more about GSK in Scotland from Scottish Development International

Creative industries


When Richard and Douglas Hare decided to create a new company to develop games for mobile and social network platforms, the brothers were based in California. But when it came to finding a base for their new company, they realised that Scotland had everything they needed.

From its Dundee base, Outplay has been able to collaborate with global partners on games such as Angry Birds Pop.

Douglas Hare, CEO of Outplay, said, "There were really very few places in the world that had experience doing social network games or mobile games, both of which were being done in Dundee."

Find out more about Outplay from Scottish Development International



Hilton is proud of its long-standing relationship with Scotland and plans to continue to grow here.

The company is particularly excited about the development of a new exhibition centre in Aberdeen. It’s partnering with the developers to introduce a new Hilton Hotel on the property – a £333 million investment.

Steve Cassidy, senior vice president of Hilton UK and Ireland, said, “Outside of London, it’s arguably the most attractive from a tourism and business perspective. It’s also very cost-effective to do business in Scotland. It’s easy to do business in Scotland.”

Find out more about Hilton in Scotland from Scottish Development International

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