James Dyson slams ‘faddish’ UK tech investment

Inventor James Dyson has criticised the UK government’s technology investment strategy, saying it is too concerned with web and video games.

"I am concerned that we are sometimes distracted by the glamour of web fads and video gaming rather than the development of tangible technology that we can export," Dyson said in an interview with the Radio Times.

"There seems to be an obsession with Shoreditch’s so-called ‘Silicon Roundabout’," Dyson added.

Instead, Dyson believes the UK should focus its efforts on "tangible technology we can export".

He also said the government should do more encourage intelligent students into study engineering and to promote postgraduate research by increasing salaries. "A salary of £7,000 a year for postgraduate research is insulting – hardly enough to incentivise smart minds to stay on," he said.

Dyson added his voice to a growing chorus complaining that the while the UK universities attract and train many talented foreign students, they often leave the country once they have finished their studies.

"More worrying is that 85% of all engineering and science postgraduates in our universities come from outside the UK," he said, "Yet nine in 10 leave the UK after they finish their studies.

"British knowledge is simply taken abroad."

Dyson and the company that bears his name are best known for the bagless vacuum cleaners he invented. In 2003, Dyson courted controversry by outsourcing manufacturing to Malaysia.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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