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Clusters and CMO’s have a crucial role to play in growing our digital economy and reputation, recognised by Scottish Government as a priority laid in out their new National Strategy for Economic Transformation.

ScotlandIS became the first organisation in Scotland to successfully secure Bronze Accreditation in 2015, gaining Silver in 2020 to become the only active Silver-accredited cluster management organisation in the UK.

To be re-accredited with a silver status for the second time in 2022 is a huge honour and highlights the impactful work ScotlandIS is doing for clusters by giving them a global platform to showcase Scotland’s powerful tech sector.

By collaborating with each other we continue to make a strong, collective impact across digital and tech spheres internationally.

Our Silver Excellence Award ensures that we remain at the forefront of quality cluster development, and we look forward to the journey of achieving a gold accreditation.

Karen meechan, CEO, ScotlandIS, on ‘why clusters’
Clusters promote economic growth through leveraging the innovation and business potential of a region; generating new employment opportunities, new products and services, new companies, new R&D activities and new patents.

Our clusters are the one window to smart ticketing and transport, cyber and data companies in Scotland. They are a fantastic, searchable resource for the public sector and wider Scottish economy, helping to locate the right suppliers and showcasing the wealth of experience and innovation we have in Scotland.

The associated capability directories will become an important part of the technology ecosystem – and will help us demonstrate that Scotland is a secure, resilient, expert country to do business in.

They are a tool to support the growth of our digital economy while growing the value of the digital tech companies in Scotland and promoting Scotland as an innovative, digital nation.

You can find out more about each of our communities by clicking on the links below.

  • ScotlandIS first to achieve successful benchmarking through the European Cluster Management process
  • ScotlandIS is delighted to be the first Scottish organisation to have been awarded Bronze status through the European Cluster Management Process.
  • ScotlandIS only UK organisation with Silver CMO status

The accreditation recognises ScotlandIS’ continued development of industry clusters through long-standing learning, creating special interest groups and strategy development.

Among these efforts has been the creation of ScotlandIS’ Scottish Cluster Ecosystem Alliance, which brings together representatives from across the tech sector – from fintech, cyber, traveltech and data organisations – to exchange knowledge and promote cross-sector collaboration. By engaging with member organisations across the clusters ScotlandIS has identified and explored challenges within the sector.

As part of the EU efforts to create more world-class clusters across the EU by strengthening cluster excellence, in 2009 the Commission launched the European Cluster Excellence Initiative (ECEI).

Strong clusters promote economic growth through leveraging the innovation and business potential of a region; generating new employment opportunities, new products and services, new companies, new R&D activities and new patents. The European Cluster Excellence Initiative, initiated by the European Commission DG Enterprise and Industry, developed methodologies and tools to support cluster organisations to improve their capacities and capabilities in the management of clusters and networks.

Cluster management organisations that are benchmarked demonstrate their interest in striving for excellence. The current list of benchmarked organisations includes 821 from 40 countries and ScotlandIS is only the third in the UK and the first in Scotland to successfully achieve the Bronze award. ScotlandIS is currently the only organisation in the UK to hold the Silver award.

The Scottish Cluster Ecosystem Alliance is a vital resource to share expertise in cluster development and management for the technology sector. The connections we have made through the Scottish Cluster Ecosystem Alliance have directly led to joint initiatives. It has certainly improved our practice and we look forward to seeing where ScotlandIS will take this in the future.

Josh Ryan-Saha, Director of TravelTech for Scotland cluster
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