Energy giant General Electric (GE) is set to recruit hundreds of UK software engineers and data scientists in the coming months, as part of its "internet of things" strategy drive, V3 has learnt.
The internet of things is not a new concept but the buzzword is becoming more frequent in the IT industry as the likes of IBM, Intel and Cisco spearhead projects aimed at connecting billions of machines capable of communicating without human involvement.
GE has a three-year strategy and a fund of $1.5bn to build out such projects, which it terms the "Industrial Internet".
William Ruh, GE software research vice president, is overseeing the investment, which includes the hiring of hundreds and possibly thousands of software engineers worldwide.
In an exclusive interview with Ruh, V3 learned that GE is now developing its Industrial Internet strategy in the UK.
"This year we are working to expand our strategy and get the plans set. At the moment we are working on how to build out capability in the UK as it's one of our largest bases," said Ruh.
Ruh declined to comment on the exact number of UK staff GE would be recruiting but said the number would be "hundreds and hundreds".
"Globally we have hundreds of data scientists but I can tell you this [role] is one area we will invest heavily in. We are also looking for people that understand advanced technology - I'm talking about people who can build advanced applications, cloud-based applications, internet-based systems, and people who really get big data," said Ruh.
Ruh also revealed GE's plans to acquire and invest in UK start-ups, particularly those in the field of big data analytics.
"We're looking at acquiring UK start-ups and to continue the investment in start-ups we are already making here. We are committed to spending what we need to. A significant portion of our current capabilities has come from acquisition," he added.
"What we love about the UK start-up scene is investment is typically more focused on the application arena. There are lots of people with oil and gas experience but they will take that experience and move it forward with analytics applications. It is these type of companies we at GE absolutely love."
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