Singapore is far from the windiest place on earth, but Vestas is concentrating on building up research and development resources exactly there. There is method in this however, as Singapore is centrally placed in the Asian growth market and has excellent flight connections to the two biggest markets, India and China.
Vestas currently has around 1,000 engineers involved in R&D, and the company expects that in two years from now, 150 of them will be located in Singapore, reports financial daily newspaper Børsen. At present the number of Vestas research staff in Singapore is 25. Vestas' Asia-Pacific director Thorbjørn Rasmussen describes this as more of a parallel expansion of R&D capacity rather than a relocation outside of its Danish homeland.
It was Singapore's focus on establishing an innovative research environment with competent universities and institutes that decided Vestas to locate there rather than directly in India or China.
"Singapore has many advantages in comparison with other locations in Asia," Rasmussen told Børsen. "The government is focusing on innovation and renewable energy, and understands how to attract well-qualified researchers from all over the world. That creates an interesting research environment that we can take advantage of, regarding for example research into materials and components."
Vestas also has plans to open an R&D facility in the US which will employ 80 engineers. The location has not yet been disclosed, but as reported recently on this website, Vestas has been in contact with the state of Minnesota, which is keen to attract the facility. Other states rumoured to be interested include Iowa, Colorado and Oregon. Vestas is currently building a wind turbine blade plant in upstate Colorado, while Oregon is home to Vestas' US headquarters.