Since announcing its move to build an electric car manufacturing plant in Jurong last year, Dyson has been fanning the flames of opportunities in our city-state.
The British electronic appliances maker in January 2019 announced that it is moving its head office to Singapore too, opening its doors to engineers, creatives, and managers.
Perhaps, in a move to be closer to the new operations, Dyson founder, Sir James Dyson is reported to have bought a penthouse in Singapore that’s valued at more than $100 million.
At the launch of the Dyson Demo Store – Beauty Lab at Funan yesterday, Dyson’s CEO, Jim Rowan told The Straits Times (ST) that the firm is considering Singapore as one of the locations for the site of its first university outside of the UK.
The tech giant has applied for degree-giving powers in Britain; Rowan hopes that they’ll get it soon.
“[And] once we (do) we will be one of the six private universities in the UK.”
Grooming Its Own Class Of Engineers
According to ST, Sir Dyson in 2016 promised to commit £15 million (S$25.5 million) to set up an institute of technology on the the company’s campus in Wiltshire.
Undergraduates at the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology can work towards an engineering degree from Warwick University.
Students also do not have to pay any fees and they will be given a salary while working alongside Dyson’s engineers.
This comes as part of Sir Dyson’s efforts to grow engineering skills in Britain.
More than 850 people had applied to the four-year programme and it launched in 2017 with a cohort of 33 students, said Warwick University.
Graduates do not have to repay a bond, Rowan said yesterday.
They hope graduates will stay with them but understands that “these young engineers will have a great idea and they want to start their own business”.
He also noted that “competition (for talent) in Singapore is not any tougher than, say, in the UK”.
“Hiring (for) the skills that we need is tight everywhere,” he added.
In August 2018, the National Technological University of Singapore (NTU) announced the launch of the Dyson-NTU Studio, Dyson’s first on-campus engineering studio in Asia.
The Dyson-NTU Studio provides NTU engineering students access to advanced prototyping equipment to test their ideas and turn them into solutions.
The Studio, led by Dyson engineers and NTU professors, will simulate Dyson’s working environment and its R&D processes.
NTU said that Dyson will contribute $500,000 to the Studio for five years.
Half of Dyson’s headcount is made up of engineers and scientists, and the company has been hiring “high-quality graduates in Singapore whom it can quickly train”, ST reported.
Dyson has employed about 1,100 employees in Singapore, with plans to expand the local team by 50% and to double its size at the Singapore Technology Centre at Singapore Science Park.
Over the next five years, the new centre is expected to create an additional 190 jobs.
In a Wired article penned by Sir Dyson himself, explaining why he created the Dyson Institute, it’s reassuring as a student to know that one will be able to have quality education while drawing “a good salary and graduate free from debt”.
“Dyson will have the bright, nimble minds to create better engineers and the capability to design better products,” he wrote.
“The undergraduates will have the opportunity to learn by doing, to find their own solutions, much as I did when I was mentored by the late inventor and founder of Rotork, Jeremy Fry.”
Featured Image Credit: Dyson