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Amazon Expands Research Center in UK

Amazon is expanding its Research and Development presence in the UK where it studies machine learning, drone technology, streaming video technology, and Amazon Web Services as part of its innovation initiatives. The company issued the following press release on Thursday:

Amazon announced a significant investment to boost its research and development in the UK with the opening of a new Development Centre site in Cambridge this autumn. The new building in the heart of the city will have capacity for over 400 highly-skilled employees including machine learning scientists, knowledge engineers, data scientists, mathematical modellers, speech scientists and software engineers. The brand new 60,000 sq. ft. Amazon Development Centre building at One The Square is located in the CB1 business districta djacent to Cambridge train station.

Minister of State for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock said: “This is fantastic news – Amazon’s increased investment in developing cutting-edge technology in Cambridge is another vote of confidence in the UK as a world-leading centre of invention and innovation.”

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Teams of experts working on devices such as Kindle, Fire tablet, Fire TV Stick, Echo, Echo Dot and the new Echo Look, as well as Alexa, will move to the new larger site starting this autumn. Amazon is currently recruiting extensively in Cambridge as part of its expansion plans in the city. Once the new site opens, the current Development Centre building at Castle Hill will be used primarily for research and development for Prime Air, a delivery system from Amazon designed to safely get parcels to customers in 30 minutes or less using unmanned aerial vehicles, also called drones.

“We are constantly inventing on behalf of our customers, and our Development Centres in Cambridge, Edinburgh and London play a major role in Amazon’s global innovation story,” said Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager, Amazon. “By the end of this year, we will have more than 1,500 innovation related roles here in Britain, working on everything from machine learning and drone technology to streaming video technology and Amazon Web Services.”

The expansion of the Development Centre in Cambridge is part of the Amazon’s significant investment in the UK. The company announced that it has invested £6.4 billion across the UK since 2010, and this year has pledged to create 5,000 new permanent roles across the country, bringing its full time workforce to 24,000. These new job opportunities are for people with all types of experience, education and skill levels – from software developers, engineers and technicians, to those seeking entry-level positions and on-the-job training.

The company also announced earlier this year an apprenticeship programme offering hundred of opportunities in engineering, logistics and warehousing roles in fulfilment centres across the country, as well as Amazon Web Services re:Start, a free training and job placement programme for the UK to educate 1,000 young adults as well as military veterans, reservists, and their spouses, on the latest software development and cloud computing technologies.

Amazon has played an active role in the Cambridge community increasing awareness of and development of essential science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills. The company runs a STEM Ambassadors programme for students in the area, provides local school children tours of the Prime Air lab, held a Design A Drone competition, and funds the Amazon Women in Innovation Bursary programme helping underprivileged women into study for innovation-focused careers.

Source: Amazon UK Press Release

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Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. Send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.


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