Interview: Sir James Dyson

Aside from his own initiatives - like the James Dyson Foundation and the James Dyson Award, Dyson believes that we simply need more focus on science and engineering.

"We have great universities, but not enough young graduates to show for it," he suggests.

"In the UK, there are 37,000 engineering vacancies every year, but only 22,000 graduates. Many British companies have potential but a lack of skilled people can hold up invention and export.

"At Dyson we are trying to double our engineering team to 700. It is taking longer than planned. Britain's recent 'budget for making things' is promising but green shoots take a long time to develop; training in university must reflect that, in line with support for business."

He suggests that simple changes at schools could help: "Science and Engineering will be our future. Holding these subjects in high esteem is a good way of creating interest amongst our young people who will come up with the ideas of the future.

Dyson - a fan of engineering

"Changes to the national curriculum could sideline subjects like Design & Technology. It should be encouraged instead; it combines the practical with the academic.

"It just needs an image change - a start would be calling it Design, Technology & Engineering."

Ultimately, however, Dyson believes that we need to get back to actually making tangible things, rather than sinking our efforts solely into the burgeoning digital world.

"Britain has a great heritage of invention and a thirst to adopt good technology." he says

"Digital fads are fine, but don't stand alone. We need to focus on creating products - tangible exports - which will contribute to long-term economic growth.

Dyson - looking for success

"We have great universities but we don't make the most of technology from them. It is the government's job to bring business and universities closer, so that their ideas can be commercialised."

So what one thing would Dyson suggest to rescue British tech? "Galvanise young people – we need to back them in education so they can be the new inventors of the future."