Dyson to expand in Singapore with new tech centre

The recently expanded Dyson Campus in Malmesbury spans 23ha and has 129 state-of-the-art laboratories. Dyson has had a presence in Singapore since 2007 with facilities in Alexandra Technopark, West Park and Fusionopolis. Details of
The recently expanded Dyson Campus in Malmesbury spans 23ha and has 129 state-of-the-art laboratories. Dyson has had a presence in Singapore since 2007 with facilities in Alexandra Technopark, West Park and Fusionopolis. Details of the new centre will be announced next year.PHOTO: DYSON
The recently expanded Dyson Campus in Malmesbury spans 23ha and has 129 state-of-the-art laboratories. Dyson has had a presence in Singapore since 2007 with facilities in Alexandra Technopark, West Park and Fusionopolis. Details of
The recently expanded Dyson Campus in Malmesbury spans 23ha and has 129 state-of-the-art laboratories. Dyson has had a presence in Singapore since 2007 with facilities in Alexandra Technopark, West Park and Fusionopolis. Details of the new centre will be announced next year.PHOTO: DYSON

Company also aims to grow engineering team here by 50% over the next few years

Dyson, the company best known for its upscale vacuum cleaners and sleek fans, is opening a technology centre here next year.

The family-owned British firm also intends to grow its engineering team in Singapore by 50 per cent over the next few years.

Dyson has had a presence here since 2007 and now has about 1,300 employees - nearly half of whom are engineers. The staff are spread across three sites: Alexandra Technopark, a high-tech motors manufacturing facility in West Park and a commercial office at Fusionopolis.

More details about the new technology centre - including its location - will be announced next year, the company said.

"Singapore is much more than just the site where all our advanced Dyson digital motors are manufactured... We have plans for our engineers here to step up in developing the next frontier of Dyson technology, in close collaboration with our team in the United Kingdom," said Mr Scott Maguire, the company's global engineering director.

"As to what kinds of technology we're working on, let's just say we're not limited by our imagination. We're constantly looking for new and better solutions to solve age-old problems. People in Singapore will simply have to wait and see what we have up our sleeves."

FORMIDABLE PARTNERSHIP

Singapore and Dyson share a similar mindset - that of the underdog - which has created a formidable partnership... This forward-thinking approach has made Singapore a hotbed of many popular global technologies companies and an attractive destination for cutting-edge technology to be developed.

DYSON

The company's growth plans here come after it announced the expansion of its existing campus in Britain, which added 129 research laboratories and collaborative spaces to support its technology pipeline.

"Singapore and Dyson share a similar mindset - that of the underdog - which has created a formidable partnership," the company said in a statement. "This forward-thinking approach has made Singapore a hotbed of many popular global technologies companies and an attractive destination for cutting-edge technology to be developed."

Another key contributing factor behind Dyson's decision to ramp up its Singapore presence is the quality and availability of engineering talent, the company said.

It plans to hire more young engineers who are fresh out of university, including those with no prior experience.

"We realise many may scratch their heads as to why we believe in hiring young people," said Mr Maguire, who noted that the average age of the firm's engineers is 26. "We find that they aren't bogged down by the notion of right or wrong. It's completely okay to try, and fail, and fix, and fail again. The important thing is to learn from mistakes - something which our graduate engineers are very adept at."

The company has its roots in a village called Malmesbury, where inventor James Dyson developed the cyclone technology now used in millions of vacuum cleaners. It has come a long way since - Dyson recorded revenue of £1.7 billion (S$3 billion) last year. The Asia-Pacific was a big driver behind this, growing 50 per cent to become Dyson's leading region last year.

The company hires over 3,000 engineers and scientists globally and spends £5 million a week on research, design and development.


Correction note: This story has been updated to reflect the accurate number of employees hired by Dyson.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 07, 2016, with the headline 'Dyson to expand in S'pore with new tech centre'. Print Edition | Subscribe