Policy & Information

Representing, Supporting, Consulting  

The independent, broad-based and inclusive membership and non-political stance of SCDI means it is uniquely placed as an organisation to consult and debate, monitor and evaluate, represent and support its members across the private, public and social economy sectors on all matters affecting the Scottish economy. 

SCDI's annual keynote ‘Forum’ conference - held each spring - ensures that our members guide, develop and input to SCDI's policy work for the forthcoming period.

In response to requests from the Scottish Government, the UK Government, the European Commission, Parliamentary Committees, Non-Departmental Organisations and members, SCDI makes submissions on issues of public policy. SCDI also submits views and evidence to these bodies arising from our own research. 

We are focused on strengthening Scotland's economy - to make it more resilient and robust - through increased levels of Innovation, Productivity and Internationalisation, underpinned by Infrastructure and Place. 

Read our key Policy report - SCDI Blueprint 'From Fragile to Agile: A Blueprint for Growth & Prosperity'.

Transport connectivity is of fundamental importance to the Scottish economy. Scotland's economic strategy, city region and regional growth deals, and islands prospectus all highlight improvements to intra-regional, inter-regional, UK and international connectivity.

There is substantial long-term investment transport infrastructure and services. However, to increase productivity, innovation and internationalisation in all parts of the country and support the transition to a low carbon future, there is a need - and an opportunity - for these improvements to become transformational. Transport, tech and energy are now coming together to fundamentally change connectivity, with the potential for digitally-integrated, low carbon, door-to-door route options. 

We have recently launched an SCDI Connectivity Commission, including key players across the Scottish transport and tech sectors and Chaired by Dr George Hazel OBE. 
Discussions have included leading on one of the Breakout Sessions 'Transforming Connectivity For A Successful Scotland' at our SCDI Forum 2016



Click here to read SCDI's comment on the 24 June 2016 outcome of the UK's EU Referendum. 


'UK Should Remain a Proactive Member of the European Union'

Having listened to our members, SCDI believe Scotland's economy is best served by the UK's continued membership of the EU. Click here for more.


Smart Citizens, Smart City Regions - Delivering Digital Public Services in Scotland Report (Jan 2017)

SCDI, Scotland IS, The Royal Society of Edinburgh and BT Scotland again joined forces to produce a second Digitally-focused policy Report, 'Smart Citizens, Smart City Regions - Delivering Digital Public Services in Scotland' which was launched on 30.Jan.2017.

This followed on from our previous collaborative work in producing our 'Digital Solutions to the Productivity Puzzle' Report, which was launched in Jan.2016.

The 'Smart Citizens, Smart City Regions' report focuses on the digital transformation of public services in Scotland, highlighting the need to accelerate the pace of change to ensure Scotland reaps the opportunities offered by new technologies, and calls for distinct and high level leadership through a newly-created Digital Leader for Scotland role. Such a digital leadership role would provide a driving force and would report to the Scottish Cabinet to ensure that digital transformation gets the high level support and oversight needed to make it successful.

It makes a number of recommendations on how to support Scotland and its citizens on the digital journey. It's been estimated that digital transformation in Scotland could see savings of £130m to £200m based on savings calculated for transformation at a UK level. Online transaction costs can be up to fifty times cheaper than face to face transactions. 

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SCDI - Connectivity Commission

The SCDI policy Blueprint report 'From Fragile to Agile: A Blueprint for Growth & Prosperity' (published in Dec.2015) identified the need for improvements in Scotland's Productivity, Innovation and Internationalisation, underpinned by key Infrastructure. Transport Connectivity is of fundamental importance to the success of the Scottish economy and, while there is substantial long-term investment, there is a need for developments to become transformational - especially as digital innovation changes transport and travel markets.

SCDI has, therefore, brought together a Connectivity Commission to report on the changes, particularly technology-enabled, which are increasingly transforming transport services and infrastructure. To make recommendations on what responses need to be considered by government and industry in Scotland to develop world-class connectivity for people and goods.

The Commission will aim to influence thinking about emerging opportunities to meet a growing demand for seamless, mode neutral and user focused 'door-to-door' connectivity, including by making more effective and efficient utilisation of assets and by making the right investments in new infrastructure.

The Connectivity Commission will specifically consider:

  • Future-proofing - Key economic, social and environmental characteristics of any future network
  • Funding - As transportation becomes increasingly service-based, how funding may be provided for operations, maintenance of assets and investment in new infrastructure
  • Decision-making - How policy and operational decisions may need to change with a more dynamic transport system and deliver positive economic, social and environmental outcomes

The Commission will focus, at this stage, on connectivity within and between Scotland's City regions, and the priorities of higher productivity, innovation and internationalisation in the Scottish economy.

SCDI's Connectivity Commission - Chaired by Dr George Hazel OBE - brings together key stakeholders from the private and public sectors, particularly with expertise in Transport and Digital sectors.

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Digital Solutions to the Productivity Puzzle Report (Jan 2016)

SCDI, Scotland IS, The Royal Society of Edinburgh and BT Scotland joined forces to produce a 'Digital Solutions to the Productivity Puzzle' Report, launched on 18.Jan.2016. 

With input from a cross-section of industry leaders, it notes that the Scottish Government and all sectors need to focus on utilising the new, world-class digital infrastructure in Scotland for higher economic growth and public service improvements over the next 5 years.

It calls for similar senior appointments across the public and private sectors to provide stronger leadership on digitalisation and action to recruit, train and continually develop more specialist Computer Science teachers. The report also makes recommendations on business transformation, data, skills and infrastructure and joint work to drive up digital adoption, usage, benefits and skills across the Scottish business base.  

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Blueprint 2015 - From Fragile to Agile: A Blueprint for Growth & Prosperity

SCDI's Blueprint 2015 'From Fragile to Agile: A Blueprint for Growth & Prosperity' research policy report regarding Scotland's economic future was launched on 7 December 2015.

The long-term view report highlights Productivity as the key challenge for the Scottish economy which needs to be tackled head-on if it is to make successful progress during what is shaping up to be a decade of disruptive global changes.

In 'From Fragile to Agile: A Blueprint for Growth & Prosperity', SCDI's 2015 policy Blueprint, we make policy recommendations on how Scotland can become a high-performance, agile economy. Our research report focuses on the areas of underperformance in the Scottish economy - Productivity, Innovation and Internationalisation - which are underpinned by Infrastructure and Place, and the levers required to support stronger economic growth which is equitable and sustainable. 

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Future Scotland: Future Growth

In 2010, SCDI articulated in its Blueprint for Scotland the long-term vision and aspirations we maintain for a Scotland which is ambitious, enterprising and outward-looking; and which measures success in its ability to maximise its natural assets, its economic potential and its people. 

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Blueprint for Scotland - Action Plan for Growth

We believe in a Scotland that is ambitious, enterprising and outward-looking and measures its success in its ability to maximise its assets, its potential and its people.

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Oil & Gas - Scotland's Future

SCDI's landmark 1972 Forum "Oil and Scotland's Future", opened Scotland’s oil and gas story and was a point of reference for the emerging energy industries in Scotland.

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