Amazon celebrates opening of new Development Centre with donation to Cambridge LaunchPad

Photograph: Amazon

Today Amazon opened the doors to its new Development Centre site in the heart of Cambridge. Located at One Station Square adjacent to Cambridge Station, the new building is a 60,000 sq. ft. development that will when at full capacity be home to over 400 highly-skilled employees including machine learning scientists, knowledge engineers, data scientists, mathematical modellers, speech scientists and software engineers.  Amazon already has more than 200 employees in Cambridge and is recruiting extensively as part of its increased expansion plans in the city.

To mark the opening, Amazon is making a £10,000 donation to Cambridge LaunchPad, a programme that inspires young people to take a career in STEM and works with local employers to engage with school children so they can learn more about the exciting possibilities that STEM can offer. The programme aims to offer young people in the Cambridgeshire areas rewarding experiences and enable them to reach their potential.

The new building is Amazon’s second Development Centre site in the Cambridge city centre and is housing research and development (R&D) teams working on a range of projects that serve customers around the world including:

  • Amazon devices including the Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV Stick and Echo smart speakers
  • Amazon Alexa, the company’s voice recognition software
  • Prime Air, Amazon’s future delivery system designed to safely get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using small unmanned aerial vehicles
  • Core machine learning and retail systems, improving the shopping experience for Amazon customers.

The Amazon Development Centre Cambridge campus is keeping its original building at Castle Park, where Alexa Data Science and Alexa Machine Learning teams will work. The Cambridge campus is home to Amazon Research Cambridge, an initiative that encompasses a wide range of talented engineers, scientists and researchers. This growing team of highly-skilled experts work across a wide variety of disciplines to develop new technologies that benefit Amazon customers globally.

Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital, said:

“We welcome the opening today of this new R&D centre and the hundreds of jobs it will create here in the heart of Cambridge. Ensuring that the world’s best and brightest companies continue to invest in the UK is a key aspect of the government’s wider economic strategy and Amazon’s opening is another signal to the world that the UK is very much open for business.”

George Pippas, Mayor of Cambridge, said: “Amazon’s new R&D hub is another major vote of confidence in post-Brexit Cambridge. The city already has a global reputation as a leading technology hub and this move, following a spate of similar announcements in recent months, show Cambridge is again front of mind as the go-to destination for the world’s most exciting companies.”

“Cambridge has been a centre of academic and intellectual excellence for hundreds of years so we are delighted to open our second site in the city,” said Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager, Amazon. “The exciting and innovative new products and services developed here will benefit millions of customers around the world, complementing the work that goes on in our other Development Centres in London and Edinburgh. I hope this new building will contribute towards our global innovation story with voice recognition, streaming video, machine learning and drone technology all being developed right here in the UK.”

Anne Bailey, Co-Founder of Form the Future CIC who manages the STEM outreach programme Cambridge Launchpad, said:

“We’re thrilled to welcome Amazon as a partner for Cambridge Launchpad. Amazon’s support will help inspire a love and fascination of engineering, science and technology in young people, and help educate them about the exciting career opportunities that exist in STEM.”

We are always interested to hear from potential new partners for Cambridge LaunchPad. If you work for a STEM organisation and are keen to excite, educate and enthuse young people with STEM, please contact Anna Aldred at aaldred@formthefuture.org.uk.

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