Scotland and Chemistry

A deep understanding of molecules, materials, and matter is essential to our society. Our ability to manipulate the stuff of our world pervades almost every human endeavour. Chemistry improves the quality of our lives and is essential in overcoming future challenges. New, less costly therapies enable more people to live longer, less sickly, lives. Sustainable plastics and building materials reduce our impact on our environment. Functional materials make possible advanced telecommunication and computer technology, facilitating collaboration and innovation. Crop protection and more efficient food production allows us to nourish ever more people. Controlling the interplay between chemicals and energy reduces costs, carbon, and uncertainty.

Scotland’s chemistry sector makes a powerful contribution to addressing these challenges. We benefit economically and socially from Chemistry. The chemical sector is Scotland’s number two export earner. It generates around £3bn p.a., with a value of £10bn. Chemistry is also crucial in underpinning the life science, energy, food and drink sectors. The Chemistry sector employs over 14, 000 people. It makes 25% of the total industrial investments in Research and Development in Scotland. In 2010 the global chemicals sector was worth over $3.5tn and continues to show strong growth. This represents a vast opportunity for Scottish businesses.

ScotCHEM provides a foundation for chemical innovation in Scotland. Our research ensures industry has access to world leading capabilities and thought leadership. ScotCHEM produces a pool of outstanding graduates capable of taking on tomorrow’s challenges. Our work spans diverse fields ranging from fundamental studies to applied science and engineering. We attracted £150m in research funding during the last assessment period. ScotCHEM has 200 academics, training a cohort of around 650 PhD students