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Amazon Expands R&D in UK

Amazon UK

Amazon UKAmazon is growing its R&D departments in the UK, announcing this week it will be hiring more highly-skilled roles in England and Scotland.

As part of the investment, it will open a new center in Manchester where “highly-skilled teams will work on projects benefiting Amazon’s customers around the world, including software development, machine learning and R&D – complementing existing work at Development Centres in London, Cambridge and Edinburgh.”

Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager for Amazon, said, “These are Silicon Valley jobs in Britain, and further cement our long-term commitment to the UK.” The positive news comes at a difficult time for the UK as it seeks to exit the European Union in what’s known as “Brexit.”

Press release follows:

In a major investment boost to UK innovation, Amazon today announced plans to open a new corporate office in Manchester in 2019 and increase the capacity of its Scotland Development Centre and Cambridge Development Centre. The new investment will provide additional capacity for over 1,000 new highly skilled roles in the UK.

Secretary of State for International Trade, The Rt Hon Liam Fox MP, said: “Ensuring that the world’s best and brightest companies continue to invest and innovate in the UK is at the heart of our Global Britain agenda. Amazon’s decision to create hundreds of highly-skilled jobs in Manchester, Edinburgh and Cambridge is an enormous vote of confidence in the UK and a signal to the world that the UK is very much open for business.”

“With the UK taking a leading role in our global innovation, we are delighted to announce plans to create capacity for over 1,000 new highly-skilled roles across the country,” said Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager, Amazon. “These are Silicon Valley jobs in Britain, and further cement our long-term commitment to the UK.”

The new corporate office in Manchester will be located in the city’s iconic Hanover Building in the Northern Quarter. The six-storey, 90,000 sq. ft. site will give Amazon capacity to create at least 600 new roles in the city. Highly-skilled teams will work on projects benefitting Amazon’s customers around the world, including software development, machine learning and R&D – complementing existing work at Development Centres in London, Cambridge and Edinburgh.

Alongside the new Manchester office, Amazon will also expand its Development Centre in the heart of Edinburgh, providing capacity for more than 250 new, highly-skilled roles. The expansion provides Amazon with three floors in the city’s iconic Waverley Gate building. The new roles will join hundreds of software engineers, machine learning scientists and user experience designers already working at the Scotland Development Centre. Teams in Edinburgh work on new advertising technology and personalised shopping recommendations, benefitting Amazon customers and employees around the world.

Amazon’s Cambridge Development Centre will also receive new investment for expansion, creating capacity for an additional 180 new roles. The Development Centre houses R&D teams that bring new innovation to millions of Amazon customers around the globe, including: Amazon Devices, Amazon Alexa (the brain that powers devices such as Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Show); AWS; Prime Air (a future delivery system to safely get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using drones) and core machine learning and retail systems, improving the shopping experience for Amazon customers.

Amazon in the UK

The new site in Manchester and additional investment in Scotland and Cambridge follow the opening last year of Amazon’s new UK head office and Development Centre in Shoreditch, East London and the expansion of the company’s Development Centre in Cambridge. Alongside these, Amazon has a Development Centre and a customer service centre in the heart of Edinburgh. Additionally, Amazon has 17 fulfilment centres and over 40 delivery stations in the UK. In total Amazon now has over 100 buildings to run its businesses and deliver goods and services to customers.

Since 2010, Amazon has invested more than £9.3 billion in the UK to build and run its operations, and is on course to grow to 27,500 roles – including over 6,500 roles in its corporate, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and R&D divisions – by the end of this year.

Amazon’s investment in UK innovation enables businesses large and small to boost their productivity and reach millions of customers around the world. Small businesses in particular, play a big role in helping the company serve millions of customers by increasing selection, for example through selling on Amazon, Amazon Launchpad, Handmade at Amazon and AmazonFresh’s Local Shops and Markets. The company also empowers businesses to reach more customers and run their businesses more effectively through services such as Alexa voice recognition, Amazon Pay, the Amazon Appstore, and AWS. In the UK, 85,000 people are employed by businesses selling on Amazon, and 60 per cent of UK businesses selling on Amazon export, achieving £2.3bn exports in 2017.

SOURCE: Amazon EU Press Release

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.