Dyson to open a second R&D tech campus in the UK

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Dyson will open a second campus focused on research and development in the U.K., close to its Malmesbury tech HQ in nearby Cotswolds. The planned expansion at home follows the recent announcement of a new Singapore tech center, which opened officially earlier this month.

The new U.K.-based R&D research and engineering facility will help Dyson deal with its growing workforce, which now includes 3,5000 people in the area — of which half are engineers or scientists, the company says. Prep for the initial phases of construction on the site selected for the campus, which used to house a flight training school and RAF facility, will start next week. Part of construction includes preserving and restoring existing facilities on-site, including WW II-era hangars, which should be ready for Dyson employees to begin using by the end of 2017.

Dyson needs the extra space not only because it’s outgrowing its existing facilities, but also because it will begin operating the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology in September of 2017, out of its Malmesbury campus, as an effort to address the growing shortage of talented and qualified engineers needed in the U.K.

The growing need for talent reflects Dyson’s expansive ambitions, which include AI and energy storage, as well as computer vision. Many have speculated that the company, most famous for vacuums and hand dryers, could easily transfer some of its engineering acumen to address solutions needed in the automotive and robotics sectors.