Almost 220 high-value jobs are to be created and safeguarded in Scotland by American company SAS, supported by an investment package announced in New York during a Scotland Week meeting with First Minister Alex Salmond.
The business analytics company is to open a new Advanced Analytics lab and expand its existing Scottish Research and Development Centre for Public Security – creating 94 new jobs in the next four years and safeguarding their current employee base of 126.
The First Minister has met senior SAS representatives in New York as part of his Scotland Week programme of business and trade meetings designed to boost investment and employment in Scotland.
If follows the news yesterday from Daktari, an American life sciences company that announced during a meeting with the First Minister that they are to locate their global manufacturing base in Inverness, with the creation of 126 new jobs.
The project is supported by £1.3 million from Scottish Development International (SDI), a partnership between the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
Speaking from New York, Mr Salmond said:
“SAS are a prestigious global company and their choice not just to expand their existing site but to expand into advanced analytics with 94 new jobs is a significant feather in Scotland’s cap.
“The new facility will position Scotland as an international centre of excellence for big data analytics and will create a substantial number of highly-skilled, high-value jobs.
“Scotland offers international companies a well-educated and trained workforce, competitive infrastructure and supportive government agencies, and this investment by SAS is a terrific example of how that international reputation pays off.
“Scotland Week offers an important opportunity to meet companies such as SAS and to encourage even more of this type of job creation in Scotland.”
SDI Chief Executive Anne MacColl said:
“The decision to locate this new centre in Scotland underlines SAS’ commitment to its active participation in our growing information and communications technology hub.”
Mikael Hagstrom, SAS executive vice president for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific (AP), said:
“We’re proud to be building on our existing operations in Scotland. We established our global research and development team to create business applications which will help modernise law enforcement, improve public safety and enhance national security.
“The initial investments allowed SAS to see the real Scottish potential with access to the excellent pool of talent from Scottish universities and its strong culture of innovation. Our plans for the new SAS facility further underline our commitment to investing in Scotland.”
As part of his Scotland Week economic programme, the First Minister yesterday also attended an SDI trade mission in Manhattan with representatives of US business, as part of a direct push to build on Scotland’s success thus far in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI).
For the last two years, Scotland has been recognised by the Ernst and Young Attractiveness Survey as the top destination in the UK for FDI. The survey reported that almost 6,000 positions were created in Scotland during 2011 – a 50 per cent increase on the previous year, making it once again the UK’s leading location for FDI job creation.