News that Microsoft is to join a growing band of high-tech US multinationals investing in British research is good news for UK industry. Microsoft’s £50m investment will be its only research base outside the US and the company says it wants to create a home in Cambridge for world-class researchers based in Europe.
As we also hear this week, UK skills were a carrot in Cypress Semiconductor’s decision to set up a high-tech design centre in the UK. The company says that expansion will only be limited by its ability to hire talented engineers.
A world skills shortage of engineers and a drive to move product development nearer to customer markets means that multinationals will continue to expand their research and development bases around the globe. Effective policies to recruit and develop top engineering talent in the UK will help us win a good share of that investment.