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Last Updated: Sunday, 30 March, 2003, 11:04 GMT 12:04 UK
Dyson to advise government
James Dyson
James Dyson moved production to Malaysia
Entrepreneur James Dyson has been recruited by the government to give advice on how to boost innovation and productivity.

The inventor of the see-through Dyson vacuum cleaner is being asked to help Trade & Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt to come up with ways of helping the UK to compete against countries with much lower trading costs.

Mr Dyson has first-hand experience of the problems.

Last year he caused controversy by moving production of his vacuum cleaners from Malmesbury in Wiltshire to Malaysia, with the loss of 800 jobs, although for 210 of the workers alternative roles were found at Dyson's headquarters.

He made the move because production costs were much lower in the Far East and that was where his component suppliers were based.

The company's research and development headquarters and its washing machine factory remain in the UK.

Lava lamps

Mrs Hewitt feels that Mr Dyson's advice will be important because he is passionate about research and development.

She is also hoping that he will be able to suggest measures that will help avoid the embarrassment of any other major UK manufacturers moving production overseas.

Mr Dyson will take part in the DTI's first "innovation summit" on Monday with ideas feeding through to a review of innovation in the UK.

Designer Terrence Conran will also take part along with Cressida Granger, managing director of Mathmos, the company that makes lava lamps.

James Dyson: Business whirlwind
05 Feb 02  |  Business
Dyson plant shuts up shop
26 Sep 02  |  England
Dyson to move to Far East
05 Feb 02  |  Business

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