At the launch of his latest innovation, Dyson accuses UK ministers of being more interested in bailing out banks than fostering entrepreneurs and engineers
Sir James Dyson today criticised the UK government for its lack of support for entrepreneurs and engineers, accusing ministers of being more interested in bailing out banks than fostering companies that could create money and high-tech jobs.
The entrepreneur behind the bagless vacuum cleaner said ministers should be backing large projects that could help tackle environmental problems and also encourage young people to take up engineering.
Dyson made the comments at the launch of his latest innovation, an electric motor that spins faster than a jet engine, which will be used in the latest models of Dyson's handheld vacumn cleaners
. During the launch, he pointed out that the motor had been developed by his engineers over a decade without any public funds.
"[The government] supports banks, they don't support wealth-creators," he said. "Instead of giving money to the bankers, give it to engineers, give it to science in universities, encourage children in schools to take up science and engineering and not become bankers and lawyers. It's a matter of refocusing ourselves on people and institutions that can solve our environmental problems and our wealth and trading problems in the process."
Ignoring engineering sends out wrong message to bright young people, he said. "Instead of using their hands and brains to solve real problems, they're lured by the media or the city. The irony is that engineers are said to be among the most content when it comes to job satisfaction."
Many of the world's environmental problems - and in the process the global economy - could be fixed by engineers, said Dyson. "This really is a time to back our engineers, fund them and set them the challenges."
He said the government should think big, backing large scale engineering projects. "Look at the French rail network and its nuclear power programme. They work, they're impressive and as a consequence the French revere engineers, unlike Brits. Instead of just throwing money at bankers, government should be looking at our long-term future."
Dyson's newest vacuum cleaner discards the standard electric motor, which has remained essentially unchanged since it was invented by the physicist Michael Faraday more than 150 years ago. "The advantages of our high-speed motor is that it's a third of the size of the conventional brushed motor it replaces, a third of the weight and it's twice as efficient. It can produce twice the power or it can run twice as long for a given amount of battery."
Modern electric motors use carbon brushes inside their mechanism but these can cause friction, meaning the motor wastes electricity. Dyson's computer-controlled V2 motor dispenses with the brushes and uses powerful magnets made from neodymium, a rare earth metal, to create far more movement with the same power input. At top speed, it can spin at more than 106,000 revolutions per minute, three times faster than a conventional motor, and 10 times faster than a jet engine. "The advantage of speed is that you can make it smaller and use less materials and it's more efficient."
An earlier version of the V2 motor has been on sale in handheld vacuum cleaners in Japan for four years and a larger version is used in Dyson's Airblade hand dryers
Dyson said it was an exciting time to be an engineer or a scientist. "In the past it was about making things faster or bigger or making something in a more dramatic fashion. Now is the time to solve the very difficult [environmental] problems but I know we can do it. The technology is there and scientists are there with the means to do it and the government should realise this."Source