Dyson: UK govt 'obsessed' with glamour of gaming

Dyson: UK govt 'obsessed' with glamour of gaming
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

January 9th 2013 at 1:38PM

British inventor claims game industry should not be put ahead of 'tangible technology we can export'

The glamour of web fads and video gaming is being put ahead of tangible technology that can be exported from the UK, Sir James Dyson has said.

Speaking to the Radio Times, the British entrepreneur famous for inventing the Dyson vacuum cleaner said too much emphasis was being placed on sectors such as the game industry, instead of traditional manufacturing.

Dyson went on to say the UK government must do more to attract the best in engineering and science so that the UK could compete on an international level, and that it must then also retain their services for its own businesses.

He claimed that nine in ten engineering graduates left the UK after finishing their studies.

Dyson’s claims may come as a surprise to many in the UK game industry, which has fought for a number of years to gain recognition from various governments as a viable sector key to the UK's growth.

It was not until last year that the government finally announced its plans for UK tax relief for developers, with the legislation still being finalised even now, although it is expected to be available from April 1st.

Countries such as Canada are well known for investing heavily in the game industry with some of the best tax incentives in the world - and this has helped generate thousands of jobs while also creating a strong output featuring many of the world's most famous games including Mass Effect, Assassin's Creed and FIFA.

Despite Dyson’s claims that the government was obsessed with video gaming, a spokesman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills told the BBC in response that £3 million had been committed to create up to 500 additional aeronautical engineers at masters level over the next three years.

It also stated that it was continuing to work with the industry to support engineering at all levels, including “engagement in schools, apprenticeships and postgraduate training”.

The Game industry meanwhile has received £500,000 from the UK government as part of its £6 million creative industry funding that also covers film, television and animation companies.

Image credit: Michiel Hendryckx