Electronics and Software in West Lothian
The electronics industry in Scotland has recovered from the global dowturn in this sector seen in recent years - it's now much more broadly based and is a key enabler for the Scottish economy. Scotland is a genuine centre of excellence for electronics. Some of the world’s leading companies are based here and there is also a diverse “home grown” electronics community.
More than 1000 companies involved in designing, developing, and supplying electronic products and/or services are located in Scotland. Over 45,000 people are employed directly and approximately 29,000 indirectly.
A further 1370 companies are involved in the software and e-business supply industry in Scotland, with some 30,000 people employed in this sector across Scottish companies, corporate organisations and universities and colleges.
West Lothian’s main town, Livingston, expanded rapidly thanks to the establishment of a number of major players in the electronics and software sectors, and the area became known as Scotland’s Silicon Glen.
Electronics and software companies
in West Lothian range from multinational manufacturing giants to small high growth start ups spun out from local universities. In total these sectors employ over 4,000 people in the area.
Shin-Etsu Handotai Co. Ltd (SEH) established its European semiconductor manufacturing facility and headquarters in Livingston in 1984. Further expansion of the Livingston plant is planned, and it is anticipated that the facility will eventually become fully integrated, producing a whole range of silicon products from the crystal growing stage through to epitaxial wafer production.
Sun Microsystems opened their UK manufacturing plant at Linlithgow in 1989 - the company's only manufacturing facility outside the United States - and now employ over 1,000 people on their 280,000 square feet site.
MSC (Scotland) Ltd opened in Livingston in 1998. Based on the town’s hi-tech Kirkton Campus, the company, which designs and manufactures memory modules is the UK manufacturing operation of MSC Vertriebs GmbH, a pan-European electronics group.
Gemfire Corporation, headquartered in California, USA, located to Livingston’s expanding Starlaw Park business zone in 2004. The company manufactures planar opto-electronic devices to support telecommunications and data communications equipment companies in building dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) systems.
Edinburgh Instruments Ltd is located in a purpose-built 12,800 sq ft facility on Livingston’s Kirkton Campus. Involved in the development and manufacture of a wide range of high technology products for the scientific research and industrial markets, world-wide exports account for 85% of the company’s current annual turnover.
GE Network Solutions Ltd is part of the global conglomerate GE and provides real time software solutions to utility companies. The company is based on the Almondvale Business Park with easy access to all the facilities of Livingston’s town centre.
Global communications company Motorola has based their software design facility providing global business support on the world renowned Alba Campus close to the centre of Livingston.
Infographics provide high-performance information technology solutions that manage and optimise business processes from their Livingston headquarters. Customers span corporate and public sector clients in the UK, Continental Europe, North America and Asia.
Codestuff Ltd is a development company delivering quality software using the latest tools and proven software engineering methodologies and is dedicated to the advancement of IP Video technology. Established in 2004 and based in West Calder, Codestuff is currently experiencing more than 50% growth.
West Lothian is now leading the way in diversification of the industry by attracting electronic design and software companies to locate in the area.
Leading mobile applications service provider Yakara plc relocated its HQ from Leith to Livingston’s Alba Innovation Centre to be closer to road and airport links. Elonics Ltd, who won a SMART award to develop a radio tuning chip, have also made their home at Alba.
Salent Technologies is a dynamic, growing company that has developed unique software and hardware to provide Integrated, Network Security and Surveillance Solutions.
Microstencil Ltd, developing stencil printing at wafer level, is a spin out from Edinburgh’s Heriot Watt University, now based at Livingston’s Starlaw Park.
And German touch screen technology company Touch Innovations Ltd, have found a home on Livingston’s Kirkton Campus, as have Conjunct Ltd, short range opto-electronics specialists, who have moved alongside opto-electronics packaging specialists Optocap.
"As a business location, West Lothian excels in every respect. The excellent transport infrastructure, diverse sources of funding, world-class academic institutions and a highly skilled workforce were strong motivating factors in our decision to locate here."
Vivienne Sacco, FD, Salent Technologies Ltd