British investor Sir James Dyson, founder of vacuum cleaner company Dyson, is donating $7.9m to The Royal College of Art to support engineering start-ups.

Sir James Dyson, founder of Dyson and inventor of the vacuum cleaner of the same name, has donated £5m ($7.9m) to his former university The Royal College of Art (RCA) in London.

The money will be used to fund 40 new incubators. Chosen start-ups will be given working space, mentors, and will be introduced to potential angel investors to help get their projects off the ground.

Unlike many incubators, Dyson has indicated that the start-ups should be “physical”, and support engineering projects over digital start-ups.

Two start-ups are already developing businesses at the RCA’s Dyson building. The first, Loowat, is designing toilets that can be used to generate heat, electricity, and fertilizer. The second, Kwikscreen, is developing portable, retractable room dividers. The start-up has already attracted the National Health Service, the world’s fifth largest employer, as a customer, and the screens were used during the London 2012 Olympics.

“Sustainable wealth…

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