For a city of Glasgow’s size, the story of industrial and commercial transformation is surprisingly under told and that is not without consequences.

It makes it that bit harder to attract both business investment and public money if the true nature of the city’s economy and its success is obscure.

It's why last autumn an independent report was commissioned to see whether international perceptions matched our own understanding of the city’s assets, helping us to re-shape as a matter of urgency the Glasgow pitch we make to international investors.

But it’s also a main reason why Glasgow Chamber of Commerce holds its annual Glasgow Business Awards (GBAs). We need the growing presence of all the clever companies in our city to be appreciated.

There is plenty of evidence emerging of Glasgow’s new economy. CBRE recently ranked Glasgow as the UK’s second most important technology hotspot outside London - using measures ranging from tech sector employment to the presence of millennials, quality of computer science degrees, salaries and tech demand for office stock.

Glasgow has 21,000 tech sector employees and a millennial population almost 100,000 bigger than that of Edinburgh. That has given Glasgow one of the Top Five tech labour pools outside London with a growth since 2012 of 29%.

The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy last year funded science and innovation audits in Scotland for enabling technologies including industrial biotechnology, photonics and advanced manufacturing, and for precision medicine.

Glasgow in both cases was the primary centre of activity. Those audits recognise the emergence of a world-leading presence in sectors of increasing importance.

Evidence from Crunchbase, the business information platform which compares cities of similar scale, shows Glasgow City Region is home to 575 innovative technology companies - almost as many as Dusseldorf and Dortmund combined.

The number of companies in low carbon industries, engineering, design and manufacturing and health and medical sectors are all well above peer city averages.

Recent key initiatives are highly relevant to the city’s future success.

Scottish Power has committed to helping the city reach net zero carbon ahead of the Scottish target, working with the City Council to decarbonise heating and transport, including installation of a rapid public electric vehicle charging system for the many Glasgow residents living in flats with no personal off-street parking.

The last year has seen Glasgow take the necessary steps to begin its movement towards becoming a leading circular city, and the Chamber, in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland and the European Regional Development Fund, is working with many businesses in exploring new ideas to benefit companies financially while supporting the sustainable economic growth of the city.

The science and technology base of a strong engineering city are re-emerging with higher than average presence in low carbon industries, engineering design and advanced manufacturing and in the health and medical sectors.

That’s why the development of innovation districts such as the University of Strathclyde’s TIC2 project, bringing together researchers and high-growth firms with technology and creative start-ups, and the University of Glasgow’s Quantum project in Govan, which could become a world-renowned centre for nanotechnology, are so important.

Past category winners at the GBAs include strong examples of the innovative companies we need - like MSquared Lasers in photonics, Clydespace and Spire in satellite applications, Peak Scientific and last year’s overall winner Renewable Parts.

Other winners form the past two years are Incremental, a digital and cloud Microsoft partner; electricity transmission company Scottish Power Energy Networks and SLG Technologies, which manages the economic impact of Scottish Leather Group.

But the Glasgow Business Awards are for all innovative companies, not just those in technology sectors.

You can view full details of the award categories and descriptions, download the category specific application forms or enter online or nominate your favourite businesses on the Glasgow Business Awards 2019 website at

Closing date is June 28, and the very best of luck.

Stuart Patrick is chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce.