News story

Michael Moore, Secretary of State for Scotland visits technology firms

Mr Moore first visited Thales UK before visiting Touch Bionics. Two very different companies who are both at the forefront of Scotland's technology Industry - a sector which is vital to Scotland's future economy.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Mr Moore first visited Thales UK before visiting Touch Bionics. Two very different companies who are both at the forefront of Scotland’s technology Industry - a sector which is vital to Scotland’s future economy.

The morning was spent at Thales UK’s Optronics facility in Glasgow where he was met by Alex Dorrian CBE, CEO of Thales UK.  Mr Moore was given an overview of the company and its products. Thales in Glasgow is a world leader in the design and manufacture including electro-optical night vision systems and equipment mainly for the defence industry. Their key products include optical systems for weapon aiming, fire control and surveillance for air, land and sea applications including submarine periscopes and optronic masts.

The Minister was then given a tour of the site where he got to see the Armoured Vehicle Integration facility, Vehicle Sighting Systems, Airborne Reconnaissance System and some of the Submarine Periscopes.

Following the tour Mr Moore said;

“I enjoyed my visit to Thales Optronics today.  We talked about the importance of the defence design and manufacturing industry to the Scottish economy.  The tour of the site showed me the impressive work that is done here and that as a company they are always looking for new opportunities.

“Thales UK have 650 staff at the Glasgow site and their design and manufacturing skills places them at the forefront of modern technology - a great endorsement for Scottish skills and talent.

“I was also impressed that they recruit heavily from Scottish universities and with their Thales Scottish Technology Prize, now in its third year - run in conjunction with the universities to identify opportunities for collaborative working is now in its third year.”

The Secretary of State went on to visit Touch Bionics who have won several awards this year - In June 2010 Touch bionics won a global award, the Most Innovative Company of the Year in Europe in the 2010 International Business Awards along with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise on Tuesday 27 July 2010.

Mr Moore was met by Stuart Mead, CEO who gave the Minister an overview of the company and its products. The Minister was given a tour of the facilities which included the clinical area, production and Research & Development before meeting Donald McKillop, a patient of Touch Bionics who has been fitted with the i-LIMB bionic hand.

After the visit Mr Moore said;

“Touch Bionics is a world leader in the development and manufacture of bionic hands with the prosthetics made here benefiting people around the world.  This is also another example of a Scottish based form leading the world in technology development.

“Their Centre of Excellence is improving people’s quality of life everyday and its existence shows their commitment to continue to develop new ways of helping the amputee community by giving them access to a full range of clinical support - to give them the best care for their specific need.”

Talking about the day as a whole Mr Moore said;

“The two companies I’ve visited today show just how much talent, skill and innovation exists in Scotland. It also shows just how vital the technology sector is to our economic future and how much collaboration goes on between the industry and the education sector.”

The Minister split the visits with a meeting to the Scottish Chambers of Commerce.  He was met by Bill McIntosh the Vice Chair of the Chamber.  After the visit Mr Moore said;

“The meeting today went well, we talked about the Scottish economic recovery and how the UK Government can help.  We also spoke about the Governments Energy plans, Governance of the Banks, the deficit and High Speed Rail, all of which have an impact of Scottish business and the Scottish economy.

“The talks were informative for both sides and I look forward to meeting the Chamber again in the future.”

Published 29 July 2010