Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Physics is making big bucks in the Scottish economy

13.09.2007
From telecommunications and aerospace to pharmacology and IT systems, a range of industries in Scotland are dependant on the application of advanced physics.

A report, Physics and the Scottish Economy, released today, Thursday, 13 September, by the Institute of Physics in Scotland (IOP), shows that more than £8 billion of Scottish economic output is contingent upon physics.

Scotland is making more of physics in its economy than the rest of its UK partners. Often stereotyped as a complicated academic discipline, physics research and its application are crucial to many 21st Century industries.

Alison McLure, National Officer for IOP in Scotland, said, “Physics teachers in our schools and researchers in our universities provide a vital role advancing the education of physics in Scotland. The relevance and applications of physics however go far beyond the classroom or the laboratory and are used to enhance some of the key sectors in our economy, such as manufacturing and telecommunications.”

The report quantifies the scope of physics in the Scottish economy but also calculates its value. While just over four per cent of Scottish workers are involved in industries that depend on physics, the sector punches far above its weight by contributing ten per cent to the nation’s economic output.

Iain Ferguson, Policy Executive at CBI Scotland, said, “The physics-based sector adds real value to the economy and is of growing importance. Employers across Scotland recognise this and are reaching out for employees with relevant skills and understanding.

“The CBI has been putting pressure on government to encourage more students to stick with science so that employers have less trouble recruiting and for young people to make the most of the opportunities that this exciting and wide sector offers.”

The Science Strategy for Scotland was launched by the Scottish Executive in 2001 to ensure that there are enough science students to meet national needs; to increase the effective commercial exploitation of the latest research; and to increase general appreciation of science in the community.

A 2006 progress report by the Scottish Executive suggested that real strides have been made, including the establishment of the SME Collaborative Research Programme, a public sector research group that helps small- to medium-sized businesses with scientific and technological research, and the launch of Science Matters, a three year initiative run by Careers Scotland to promote the uptake of science careers during secondary education.

David Lockwood, Managing Director of Thales Optronics, a world leader in the design and manufacture of advanced electro-optic systems, employing 700 people, 550 of which are based at its headquarters in Glasgow, said: “Having a large number of physics literate graduates is an advantage for any economy and it’s something that should be a path more recognised and encouraged in schools. Unfortunately there is still a shortage of physics and engineering graduates in Scotland despite physics graduates being very attractive to a wide range of employers. Thales Optronics’ success is built on physics and we need a constant flow of individuals with expertise to maintain it.”

Charlie Wallace | alfa
Further information:
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Business-Industry/science/16607/5910

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Hope to discover sure signs of life on Mars? New research says look for the element vanadium
22.09.2017 | University of Kansas

nachricht Calculating quietness
22.09.2017 | Forschungszentrum MATHEON ECMath

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>