On the heels of its Maluuba acquisition announcement, Microsoft announced that it will be doubling the size of Maluuba’s Montreal office, which it calls its “new AI research and development organization.” The company plans to grow the office in the next two years.
At the same time, Microsft will be donating $6 million to the Université de Montréal and $1 million to McGill University to expand AI research, which will be funded over a five-year period. In December, Microsoft Ventures also invested in Element AI, an incubator that helps organizations develop an “AI-first” strategy.
“Microsoft is excited to engage with faculties, students and the broader tech community in Montreal, which is becoming a global hub for AI research and innovation,” said Brad Smith, president of Microsoft. “Today’s news, along with the opening of Microsoft Vancouver and our ongoing work to create a new Cascadia Innovation Corridor connecting Vancouver and Seattle, reinforces the important role that Canada plays in Microsoft’s global business.”
Smith announced the news in Davos, Switzerland, during the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting. He was joined by Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development; Dominique Anglade, Quebec Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation, and Quebec minister of Minister responsible for the Digital Strategy; and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard.
“Microsoft’s investment is proof of Canadians’ world-renowned expertise in artificial intelligence and machine learning. This emerging field of research has the potential to revolutionize computing by transforming vast amounts of information into useful insights,” said Bains. “The future of every industry, from finance and health to manufacturing and transportation, will be shaped by advances in artificial intelligence. And research conducted in Canada will play a defining role in developing this enabling technology, which will create better jobs and opportunities for Canadians.”