Sector Strengths


Great centres of learning grew in Aberdeen with an educational tradition that persists in ground-breaking scientific endeavors today.

The scholars of the city became Nobel Prize winners. And today, energy innovation, breakthrough treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, globally recognisedfood and drink brands and high end scientific research mean Aberdeen’s dynamism and pioneering spirit continues.

Aberdeen has a history of academic excellence, innovation and scientific advances through its leading research centres and world class Universities.  Past inventions include the life-saving drug insulin, the development of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and the discovery of partition chromatography.  The region boasts the highest concentration of health and life scientists anywhere in Europe and through collaboration with local industry and business leaders, Aberdeen continues to be a pioneering centre and driving force within the following research areas:

Culture and Tourism 

Aberdeen is a city of rich history, creative culture & amazing art. Aberdeen was named the “most cultured” city in the UK (The National, 2020). This research analysed the number of museums, landmarks and top restaurants in each location to uncover which destinations have the highest proportion of culture on offer. This demonstrates the vast culture Aberdeen has on offer as well as its tourism potential.

The City’s 10-year cultural strategy, ‘Culture Aberdeen’, drove the benefits of culture that go well beyond the visitor economy; from promoting inflows of talent and investment, and driving urban regeneration, providing positive pathways to education and employment as well as building strong, healthy and confident communities.


Aberdeen has a proud and global reputation as the energy capital of Europe. It took a great deal of hard work, knowledge sharing and the creation of a world-class supply chain to ensure that this region became a true international energy cluster. Aberdeen has 50 years’ experience as a world-class energy city to draw from – the infrastructure, people, technology, supply chain capability and financial capital. The region is uniquely positioned to be at the very forefront of the transition to new energies and cement its position as the net zero energy capital of Europe.

Energy Transition

Through its innovation in energy transition Aberdeen is an unrivalled location to spearhead the UK’s transition to net zero.

While the energy industry has faced challenging times in recent years, the city has responded with brave new thinking and exciting technologies. Today, Aberdeen is a global centre for ocean technology, with no less than 75% of the world’s sub-sea engineering capability rooted here.


With plans to create world-class hydrogen hub including a refueling facility for public transport, Aberdeen is at the vanguard of the hydrogen fuel revolution.

Aberdeen is playing a pioneering role by creating a world-class hydrogen hub. This will be Scotland’s first green hydrogen production facility.

Food and Primary Industry

Aberdeen has an especially strong food and agriculture research cluster. The Rowett Institute, part of the University of Aberdeen, is a dedicated food and nutrition research centre located in the city. The James Hutton Institute, also located in the city, was formed to create a world leading research institute for land, crops, water, and the environment.

Scotland has an international reputation for high quality food and drink, especially in livestock, game and seafood, as well as whiskey, taking advantage of natural capital and extensive arable

production. The North East of Scotland is placing a higher emphasis on food and drink production, with public and private investment in innovation hubs like Seedpod while Aberdeen pivots away from historical fossil fuel production.

Health and Life Sciences

The world’s first MRI scanner was invented at the University of Aberdeen in 1980, paving the way to improve millions of lives. From the discovery of insulin to innovative new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. Scientific breakthrough is embedded in Aberdeen’s DNA.

From the discovery of insulin to innovative new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. Scientific breakthrough is embedded in Aberdeen’s DNA.

Being able to show visitors the fantastic countryside, the coast, castles and gardens makes it easy to draw people to Aberdeen. I work with many people in education research across Europe and they are always very interested in visiting Scotland.

Dr Rachel Shanks, University of Aberdeen