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Dyson to invest S$5 billion in Singapore, the Philippines and UK to drive new tech developments

SINGAPORE — British technology firm Dyson has named Singapore as one of three markets where it will invest £2.75 billion (close to S$5 billion) in new technologies, products and even a university research programme over the next five years.

Dyson to invest S$5 billion in Singapore, the Philippines and UK to drive new tech developments

An artist's impression of the interiors of Dyson's global headquarters in Singapore's St James Power Station.

  • Dyson intends to invest further in Singapore
  • It will proceed with plans to open its global headquarters here
  • It is also looking at expanding its research and manufacturing arms 
  • Another plan is to establish a new university research programme in Singapore

 

SINGAPORE — British technology firm Dyson has named Singapore as one of three markets where it will invest £2.75 billion (close to S$5 billion) in new technologies, products and even a university research programme over the next five years.

The other two markets will be the Philippines and the United Kingdom. It did not disclose how much of the S$5 billion will be set aside for its projects in Singapore.

In a press release on Friday (Nov 27), the manufacturer of household appliances said that the investment will enable the company to progress with plans to open a new global headquarters in Singapore at the colonial landmark of St James Power Station beside VivoCity mall in the vicinity of Harbourfront.

The power station was built in 1927 as Singapore’s first coal-fired power plant but was decommissioned in 1976. In 2006, it was turned into an entertainment complex before it was returned to its landlord, property developer Mapletree, on Sept 1 last year after its lease expired.

Past media reports from last year stated that Dyson’s move to the 110,000 sqf national monument was expected to happen in 2021, but TODAY understands that it has been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dyson has hired more than 100 engineers in Singapore this year alone, but it is not known yet how many more jobs its continued presence here will create.

Part of the company’s latest plans is to expand its research arm to cover a growing number of fields such as machine learning and robotics, and to set up a new advanced manufacturing hub to consolidate its various facilities here, such as its automated digital motors facility at West Park BizCentral near Boon Lay.

Another project in the pipeline is to establish a new university research programme in Singapore to drive product development. No other details were given.

HIRING MORE ENGINEERS, SCIENTISTS

Apart from Singapore, the billion-dollar investment plan will go into its operations in the Philippines and the UK, and into hiring more engineers and scientists in fields such as software, machine learning and robotics.

This will allow the company to double its portfolio of products and move into new fields by 2025, it said.

“A key focus is the commercialisation of Dyson’s proprietary solid-state battery technology which is under development in the US, UK, Japan and Singapore.

“(This) promises safer, cleaner, longer-lasting and more efficient energy storage than today’s existing batteries,” it added.

Some other areas of investment are in research in the fields of next-generation motor technology, intelligent products, machine learning, connectivity and material science. 

Mr Roland Kruegar, Dyson’s chief executive officer, said that “now is the time to invest in new technologies” such as energy storage, robotics and software to improve performance and sustainability in its products.  

“We will expand our existing product categories, as well as enter entirely new fields for Dyson over the next five years. This will start a new chapter in Dyson’s development,” he added.

Dyson, famous for making vacuum cleaners and bladeless fans, has been in Singapore for more than a decade.

In October 2018, it announced an ambitious automotive project to build its first electric car in Singapore, to have a factory by 2020 and release the first model by 2021.

A few months later, company founder James Dyson said that he was moving his corporate office and tax registration to Singapore from Britain to be closer to his fastest-growing markets.

Then, in October last year, it suddenly dropped its plan to manufacture electric vehicles.

Dyson was employing close to 1,200 people here at the time — 350 of whom are engineers and scientists.

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Dyson investment tech research St James Power Station

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