Microsoft opens innovation centre in Barcelona

by Lorraine Williamson
Microsoft innovation centre

BARCELONA – American IT giant Microsoft has chosen Spain to establish a new innovation Centre for Research & Development (R&D) in Artificial Intelligence. Initially, 30 software specialists and data scientists will work here. 

In a press release, Microsoft has announced that it will eventually let more than 100 employees work in Barcelona. These are software specialists in the field of Machine Learning. This is a technique with which software improves itself by recognising data patterns. And also Deep Learning (recognition based on artificial neural networks). 

The artificial intelligence innovation is aimed at improving internet use. In addition to the innovation center in Barcelona, ​​the branch of Microsoft that deals with this has six other R&D centers worldwide. The hub in Barcelona will attract IT talent from all over Europe. 

The innovation centre will be part of the Search & AI (Artificial Intelligence) division, led by Jordi Ribas, vice president of Microsoft Corporation in the United States. Ribas indicated he is convinced of the great value that the hub in Barcelona will bring to Microsoft users worldwide. 

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The potential to become an important IT country 

According to Alberto Granados, Microsoft Spain, General Manager, this investment by Microsoft demonstrates once again that Spain has qualified personnel. And furthermore, that Spain also has great potential to attract IT talent from abroad. “With the hub, we will further develop AI, together with universities, research centres and technology companies. Training in technologies within Machine Learning will be an important boost for the digital talent in Spain,” said Granados. 

There has also been an enthusiastic response from politicians to the establishment of the Microsoft hub in Barcelona. Minister Calviño of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation said the government´s ‘ambitious digital agenda’ was high on the priority list. Catalonia has the potential to play a leading role in the development of AI in Europe, according to Catalan Minister Jordi Pugineró of Digital Policy. 

With the new R&D centre in Barcelona, ​​Microsoft joins other multinationals such as Vodafone and Klarna, which also recently opened innovation centers in Spain. 

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