Dyson Foundation Awards $13.5 Million to Cambridge University

The University of Cambridge has announced an £8 million ($13.5 million) grant from the James Dyson Foundation to the university's engineering department to help create a technology hub.

The largest grant ever to the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world will support construction of a research center that provides space for twelve hundred engineers whose research is supported by the Dyson Foundation. Scheduled to open in 2015, the Dyson Engineering Design Centre will become a focal point in the university's efforts to teach students about the design process, providing specialized printing machinery, scanners, lasers, and routers.

The facility is designed to encourage the sharing of ideas and a collaborative research environment, with dozens of open incubator units. Student-led projects housed within the building will include solar-powered electric racing cars, vehicles engineered for arctic ice, quad-rotor drones, and helium balloon spaceflight systems. In addition, the James Dyson Building for Engineering will house postgraduates and support world leading research in a variety of areas, including advanced materials, smart infrastructure, electric vehicles, and efficient internal combustion systems for cars.

"Developing the intellectual property that will help Britain succeed in the global technology race depends on applying our brightest minds to ambitious and exciting research projects," said James Dyson, an inventor, industrial designer, and founder of the Dyson company. "I'm hopeful that this new space for Britain’s best engineers at the University of Cambridge will catalyze great technological breakthroughs that transform how we live."

"The James Dyson Foundation Donates £8M to Fuel Invention Powerhouse." Cambridge University Press Release 05/07/2014.