BANGALORE, India, Dec. 1, 2004 — Microsoft Research, Microsoft Corp.’s 13-year-old basic research arm, announced today that it has selected Bangalore, India, as the location for its third research facility outside the United States. Microsoft Research Lab India Private Ltd., scheduled to open in January 2005, plans to employ about two dozen scientists, interns and support staff in the first year. The Bangalore lab joins Microsoft’s Redmond, Wash.; San Francisco; Silicon Valley, Calif.; Cambridge, England; and Beijing labs in bringing together great minds to build a world-class global research organization with more than 700 scientists on staff. P. Anandan, an internationally renowned researcher in computer vision and video analysis and a seven-year veteran of Microsoft Research in Redmond, will lead Microsoft Research India.
Microsoft Research India’s mission will be to conduct long-term basic and applied research and to collaborate with Indian research institutions and universities as part of Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to engaging with academic and scientific communities worldwide to accelerate scientific progress and innovation in computer science and software engineering. The establishment of Microsoft Research India builds on Microsoft Research’s previous endeavors in India through its University Relations program since 2001. The lab will begin operations by investigating the following areas: multilingual systems, technologies for emerging markets, geographical information systems, and sensor networks.
“India’s growing international reputation for excellence in computer science research and engineering make it a natural choice for the newest Microsoft Research facility,” said Rick Rashid, senior vice president of Microsoft Research. “The diversity of India’s languages and culture, its deep respect for education, and its rich humanitarian tradition make India uniquely suited for investigations into areas of computing that can help the global community gain better connectivity, promote literacy and define the technology experience for decades to come.”
“This new research lab underscores Microsoft’s commitment to partnership with India, and builds on our strong collaboration over the past 10 years,” said Ravi Venkatesan, chairman of Microsoft India. “Microsoft recognizes the tremendous potential of India’s people and the Indian IT industry, and we believe our shared efforts can help realize India’s potential and bring the benefits of technology to literally billions of people, both here in India and worldwide.”
Research Agenda Will Drive Innovations for Global Marketplace
“India’s unique environment is a strong complement to Microsoft’s worldwide research efforts,” said P. Anandan, managing director of Microsoft Research India. “With a population of over 1 billion, India recognizes more than 20 national languages, and a majority of its citizens have no access to computing or the Internet. No other country has this diversity. This makes it a fascinating backdrop for some of computer science’s most challenging problems.”
Microsoft Research India will begin by focusing on the following opportunities:
Multilingual systems. Efforts will include exploring software technologies that would enable seamless content creation, storage, search, access and interaction with multiple languages on computing devices. Researchers will draw on relevant fields of computer science, such as natural language processing, speech recognition, user interfaces and localization.
Technologies for emerging markets. Efforts will include social science research to better understand the role of technology in emerging market communities, and technology innovations to address the needs and aspirations of those communities.
Geographical information systems. Efforts will include developing databases of geographic information based on data acquired from multiple sources, mining and analyzing that data, and providing rich map-based visualization of such information.
Sensors and sensor network applications. Efforts will include using distributed sensors with processing capabilities that communicate with each other and with databases wherein the sensor-provided data is integrated with other relevant information to facilitate the monitoring of large areas of land for environmental and other applications.
Veteran Computer Scientists Will Lead India Research Lab
P. Anandan, an internationally renowned researcher in computer vision and video analysis, has been named managing director of Microsoft Research India and will lead the new lab’s activities, including defining its mission and objectives. Anandan previously held the position of senior researcher at Microsoft Research at the company’s headquarters in Redmond, where he led a group of researchers working on interactive visual media. He also is actively involved in Microsoft Research’s University Relations program in India. A native of Chennai, Anandan joined Microsoft in June 1997, and is moving back to his home country to open the Bangalore lab.
Kentaro Toyama, a researcher with Microsoft Research since November 1997, has been appointed assistant managing director of Microsoft Research India. Toyama will lead the Technology for Emerging Markets Group, whose mission is to drive innovation in computing that better serves economically emerging markets and to identify applications of technology that could impact socioeconomic development of underserved communities. Previously, Toyama did research in computer vision, multimedia and geographic information systems.
About Microsoft Research
Founded in 1991, Microsoft Research is dedicated to conducting both basic and applied research in computer science and software engineering. Its goals are to enhance the user experience on computing devices, reduce the cost of writing and maintaining software, and invent novel computing technologies. Microsoft Research employs more than 700 people in six labs on three continents, focusing on more than 55 areas of computing. Researchers collaborate with leading academic, government, and industry researchers to advance the state of the art in such areas as graphics, speech recognition, user-interface research, natural language processing, programming tools and methodologies, operating systems and networking, and the mathematical sciences.
More information can be found at http://www.research.microsoft.com .
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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