Amazon is expanding its R&D operations in Cambridge, U.K., with a plan to staff out a large research lab — expanding on the foothold it acquired when it bought Cambridge-based speech tech startup Evi Technologies two years ago, TechCrunch has learned.
Cambridge is feted for its world-class university which, in turn, acts as a hub for concentrating science and technology talent, naturally leading to many startups spinning out from it. Amazon is evidently hoping to grab itself a larger slice of this local talent. A source familiar with the company’s plans told TechCrunch it will focus on Prime Air, its autonomous delivery drones project, and on beefing up its speech tech R&D team.
The e-commerce giant has been staffing up for Prime Air over the summer, including seeking hires in Cambridge. It has continued advertising for Prime Air positions in the U.K. university town this fall, including a Flight Operations Engineer role posted this month, a Site Leader role posted in October and a Senior Research Scientist role posted in September. The latter asks for “experience applying machine learning approaches to complex problems,” among other skills.
Amazon’s expanded Cambridge presence will also see it tool up its speech group significantly, tapping Cambridge’s pull and talent pool here too. Job roles Amazon is currently hiring for under an Evi Technologies Limited company listing include a Quality Assurance Engineer, a Senior Technical Program Manager and various software developer roles.
One software dev testing role job ad notes: “Our testing involves verifying a rapidly changing and growing knowledge base answers our customers’ questions as quickly and accurately as possible across many different services.” Another role within the same Evi hiring group refers to working on “brand new projects using cutting edge technology.”
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com