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The Scottish Council for Development and Industry is a company incorporated in Scotland (company number SC024724) and limited by guarantee, having its registered office at 1 Cadogan Square, Cadogan Street, Glasgow G2 7HF
Welcome to our Website
SCDI is Scotland's leading economic development organisation. Our aim is to influence and inspire government and key stakeholders to create sustainable economic prosperity for Scotland - an ambition as relevant today as it was when SCDI was established in 1931.
SCDI's influential membership includes global players, SMEs, colleges & universities, government agencies, local authorities, trade unions, charities and the third sector. This unique gathering of knowledge, experience and talent provides a dynamic and creative force for change.
Future Scotland: Future Growth

Amidst the current debate about Scotland's future constitutional options, SCDI has undertaken an enquiry into some of the key issues across the Macroeconomic and Fiscal, Europe and International, and Energy spheres, and analysed the Discussions and Priorities of our members.

Through this work, we hope to inform and provide insights to our members and stakeholders, by the identification and analysis of the issues and evidence to be considered. As an independent organisation with a broad membership, SCDI takes no political view on these issues for the Scottish electorate. However, the organisation's role has always been to examine and consider impartially the industrial, commercial and economic challenges and opportunties facing Scotland.

For further information on SCDI's Future Scotland work, please click here.

SCDI Annual Lecture 2014 - Aberdeen
Keynote Speaker: Dr Marcus Richards
Thursday 16 January 2014 - Aberdeen

SCDI is delighted that Dr Marcus Richards, Oil & Gas industry leader and formerly Group CEO, Dana Petroleum plc and Senior Vice-President, BP, delivered the Keynote Address to a packed audience of guests at our 10th SCDI Annual Lecture at the Marcliffe Hotel, Aberdeen on Thursday 16 January 2014.

Dr Marcus Richards recently stepped down from the post of Group CEO of Dana, and until mid-2009 he held senior roles within BP. In a career of 27 years, he has held a number of business leadership, functional and technical roles within Exploration & Production and Group Corporate Centre. His experience includes managing large-scale multi-disciplinary teams in operational, major project, research and development arenas. A significant proportion of his career has been spent outside the UK and Europe, with assignments in the US, Australia, China and Indonesia. He is an alumnus of Harvard University and a visiting Professor at Aberdeen's Robert Gordon University.

Dr Richards covered a variety of themes he highlighted as being key for the Oil & Gas sector, not only in the North Sea but in a global context, as the dynamics of the industry change. You can read the Transcript of his Lecture here.

SCDI's Regional Director, Ian Armstrong, noted, "I am delighted we attracted such a leading figure from the oil and gas sector to be Guest Speaker at our Annual Lecture. The support we've had from members over the past ten years has established the Lecture as a special occasion in the region's business calendar and I know members and guests were keen to hear the views of Dr Richards on the future prospects of the energy sector as we enter what will be a historic year for Scotland."

The Annual Lecture was established by SCDI in 2004 as one of our key events in Scotland and has been held in Aberdeen on an annual basis since. Previous speakers have included Paul Walsh, (then) Chief Executive, Diageo plc; Peter Robertson, (then) Vice Chairman, Chevro Corporation; and Lord Smith of Kelvin, Chairman of SSE and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee. The speaker at the 2013 Annual Lecture was Mr Samir Brikho, Chief Executive, AMEC plc.

SCDI would like to thank our Principal and Associate Partners for their invaluable support of the Annual Lecture 2014:

Principal Partners: Aberdeen International Airport; Aberdeen Harbour; Accenture; AMEC; Balmoral Group; Bank of Scotland; Brodies LLP; Business Direct - ScotRail; EY; Lufthansa; Shell.

Associate Partners: Highland Spring; Lesley Davidson Marketing; The Marcliffe Hotel & Spa; Robert Gordon University Aberdeen.

For further information regarding SCDI's Annual Lecture 2014, please contact

SCDI Annual Review 2012-13

As the economy shows some signs of positivity, now is an appropriate time to look back over the last year, and review the work which SCDI has done to support this turnaround, here in Scotland and beyond.
Through our engaging and diverse network of members, SCDI has maintained our focus on the economy as the pressures of the downturn hit home with our members and the rest of the country.

Please click to access the SCDI Annual Review 2012-13
The Big Picture Live: Free Webcast
'Future Scotland:
Engaging for Economic Growth'
Discussion with ROSS MARTIN, SCDI Chief Executive
Wednesday 11 December
Scotland's economic outlook demonstrates some positive signs for optimism and future economic growth, and yet continues to experience some challenges during this recovery period. The country also faces some interesting choices and decisions going forward as to our future path and development opportunities.

SCDI's new Chief Executive, Ross Martin, took part in a free 45 minute live Webcast on Wed 11 December, where discussions focussed on a wide variety of issues, including:

• The key issues facing the Scottish economy and how it can be made more resilient to better withstand shocks, such as those recently experienced at Grangemouth and Govan.
• The potential points of policy discontinuity represented by the forthcoming Referendum, the UK and Scottish elections.
• The future vision for SCDI working in support of its members and key stakeholders in the emerging economic context.


The webcast also provided online delegates with the opportunity to engage and interact directly through live Q&A submissions and online message board discussion. To view the footage of the webcast, please click here.

The webcast was hosted by DP Digital Media. To find out more contact


People Power: Invest for Success
Thursday 14 November - Edinburgh

Many organisations know the value of motivated, dedicated and happy workforces, but are we as businesses, sectors and an economy realising the full potential of the link between employee engagement and high organisational productivity and performance? Research has shown that effective employee engagement generates increased revenue growth and annual net profit, 18% higher productivity, 40% lower employee turnover rate as well as ensuring higher customer satisfaction and a larger proportion of employees contributing their most creative ideas. In the current economic climate a growing number of organisations understand the crucial importance of taking actions designed to release the benefits of an actively engaged workforce and are reaping the rewards.    

SCDI, in partnership with Scottish Gas, recently brought together business leaders, policymakers and employees and delivered a free 'People Power' Conference in Edinburgh, to explore new ways and thinking to invest in workforce and workplace development to help drive sustainable economic growth in Scotland.

Delegates learned from a range of Speakers including:
Sir Peter Housden - Permanent Secretary to The Scottish Government; Prof Patricia Findlay - University of Strathclyde Business School; Bernadette Malone CBE - Perth & Kinross Council; Kevin Roxburgh - Scottish Gas; Jon Mell - IBM; Laurie Russell - The Wise Group; Dick Philbrick - Clansman Dynamics; & David Carry - 3x Olympian & double Commonwealth swimming champion. Nuffield Health also provided interactive health demo's and advice clinics during networking sessions.

The conference provided an opportunity to learn, share best practice and help organisations and the Scottish economy make the next step. Participation equipped delegates with a greater understanding of workforce and workplace development, its benefits and practical advice to improve the performance and meet the objectives of their own organisations.

Click the icon above to read a sample edition of our e-newsletter which keeps members up-to-date with recent policy work, upcoming events, international trade visits, the work of our Young Engineers & Science Clubs and members’ news. If you would like to be included in a future issue, please contact


SCDI Lunch with Mark Carney,
Governor of The Bank of England

Wednesday 29 January 2014
Venue: The George Hotel,
19-21 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 2PB

SCDI were delighted to be joined by Mark Carney, Governor of The Bank of England, who was welcomed by our Chief Executive, Ross Martin, then addressed SCDI members on 'The Economics of Currency Unions' at a lunchtime business event in Edinburgh on Wednesday 29 January 2014.

The Bank of England have made the Governor's speech transcript available, in addition to webcast footage of both his address and the subsequent press conference at

This event formed part of Governor Carney's first visit to Scotland since he took office in July 2013.

SCDI Forum 2014 -
'Scotland: Beyond The Horizon'
Thursday 1 - Friday 2 May 2014
Venue: RBS HQ, Gogarburn, Edinburgh

The SCDI Forum is the leading policy and networking event in the Scottish business and economic calendar and has a clear agenda - to stimulate economic growth for Scotland. It brings together 300 senior influencers, from across all sectors of the economy, with first-hand experience of success in areas vital to Scotland’s future economic prosperity.

In what is shaping up to be a momentous and busy year for Scotland, the Forum 2014 will look beyond electoral cycles and address the long-term opportunities and challenges for the Scottish economy in a global context.

Recognising that Scotland must be on the cusp of opportunities in areas of global growth, while generating more inclusive local growth, the Forum will have a particular focus on improvements which evidence shows would strengthen our economic performance:

Innovation – capitalising on the dynamism and potential in our educational institutions, businesses and workforces; successful industrial strategy and market creation; and a greater emphasis on the ‘D’ in R&D
Infrastructure – attracting investment and accelerating delivery to provide competitive, world-class internal and external connectivity
Skills – maximising Scotland’s human capital by setting the pace in the global skills race and enabling everyone to develop and make the most of their talents.

The Forum will be the platform to generate and discuss the ideas and insights which will be developed into SCDI’s refreshed Blueprint for the Scottish Economy, for publication in 2015.

Scotland needs more “born-global” companies and people. This is your opportunity to play a leading role in shaping Scotland's economic future.

A full conference programme and booking information will be available in January. To register your interest in receiving further information please contact

The Forum offers partner organisations a unique opportunity to build profile, engage and benefit from the strategic positioning the conference delivers. For further partnership information please contact
Nicola Seeley, Events & Sponsorship Manager, SCDI

Scottish Cities Forum
Tuesday 29 October 2013, Edinburgh

The second annual Scottish Cities Forum took place on Tuesday 29 October in Edinburgh and was attended by over 150 senior stakeholders, drawn from both the public and private sectors and academia. The session presented an opportunity for the Alliance to:

  • update key stakeholders on the progress made by the Scottish Cities Alliance
  • outline the real opportunities that collaboration presents for driving forward economic growth
  • present the current opportunities for private sector engagement
  • learn from international counterparts; and
  • set out the vision for the next stage of the Alliance’s development.

Breakout Discussion Groups were held on 4 key themes: Building the Hydrogen Economy; Waste as a Resource; Smart Cities and Open Data.

For more information on the work of the Alliance and to discuss opportunities for your own organisation to get involved, please contact the Alliance team at


LISTEN: SCDI Chief Exec - BBC Radio Scotland - Economic Lessons for Scotland

Ross Martin, SCDI's Chief Executive, and journalist Alf Young were jointly interviewed by Douglas Fraser, anchor of BBC Radio Scotland's 'Business Scotland' programme, first broadcast on 26 October and repeated on 27 October 2013. They explored the economic lessons for Scotland as regards the challenges and changes for industrial policy, and the structure of the economy, in light of the settlement reached at the Grangemouth facility. The interview was available via the BBC iplayer facility at this link (fwd to 3mins 33sec)


SCDI Highlands & Islands Annual Dinner
& Business Excellence Awards

Friday 13 September 2013, Inverness

The SCDI Annual Dinner & Business Excellence Awards is the highlight of the Highland business calendar. This year was no different, with the 2013 Awards Dinner a sell-out with 350 guests drawn from the Highland business and economic community across Scotland.

Our host for the evening was Cathy MacDonald, with the Keynote Address delivered by The Rt Hon Danny Alexander MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and after-dinner entertainment provided by comedian and ventriloquist Nina Conti. SCDI's Highlands & Islands Annual Dinner & Business Excellence Awards celebrates excellence and is the premier event for showcasing the achievements of the region's businesses.

Congratulations to the 2013 H&I Award winners:
- Benromach Award for Excellence in International Business: Babcock Dounreay Partnership
- The Crown Estate One to Watch Award for Excellence in a Marine Business: Isle of Skye Yachts
- Global Energy Award for Excellence in People Development: The Underwater Centre, Fort William
- Highlands & Islands Enterprise Award for Excellence in Research & Innovation: Eagle Brae
- ScotRail Business Direct Award for Excellence in Business Service & Engagement: SSE
- SEPA Award for Excellence in Environmental Sustainability: Tomatin Distillery
- SCDI Award for H&I Young Engineers & Science Club of the Year: Alness Academy
- SCDI Highlands & Islands Chairman's Award for Outstanding Business Achievement: Walkers Shortbread
For info regarding SCDI's H&I Awards, please contact
SCDI would like to thank our Partners & Associate Partners for their invaluable support of the Awards.
Keep in touch with SCDI....
Latest Policy Papers
High Speed Rail Scotland Partnership - HS2 Phase 2 Consultation HSRS Response
February 2014
Response to Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill
January 2014
False Self-Employment Policy SCDI Submission to HMRC
January 2014
SCDI Response to Scottish Parliament on Proposed NPF3
January 2014
Connecting Scotland's Cities - Business Survey on Dualling the A9 and A96
September 2013
Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee on the Draft Scottish Budget 2014-15
September 2013
Scottish Government on NPF3 Main Issues Report & Draft Framework
July 2013
Scottish Government on Draft Scottish Planning Policy
July 2013
Airports Commission on the Airport Operational Models Consultation
July 2013
SCDI Research Paper re Air Connectivity Between Inverness & London
July 2013
SCDI Policy Papers>>
Latest Press Releases
High Speed Rail Scotland Partnership - Release re High Speed Rail Phase 2 Consultation
February 2014
SCDI announces appointment of Scottish Cities Alliance Strategic Director
January 2014
Airport capacity increase must meet the economic needs of the whole of the UK
December 2013
SCDI Welcomes Joint Study into High Speed Rail
November 2013
Dr Marcus Richards, Dana Petroleum plc, to Deliver SCDI Annual Lecture 2014 in Aberdeen
September 2013
Businesses Highlight Economic Benefits Of Dualling Key Roads In The North Of Scotland
September 2013
SCDI Press Releases>>
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