Microsoft establishes Microsoft Research Asia-Shanghai and a new AI Innovation Center

Microsoft partners with Shanghai Xuhui District People’s Government and INESA Group to accelerate AI innovation

September 17, 2018, Shanghai – Today, Microsoft announced the establishment of Microsoft Research Asia-Shanghai and the Microsoft-INESA AI Innovation Center at the Shanghai Xuhui District, bringing world-class artificial intelligence (AI) research capabilities to the city. A strategic Memorandum of Understanding will be signed at the World AI Conference 2018 in Shanghai by the Shanghai Xuhui District People’s Government, INESA and Microsoft for the creation of the Microsoft Research Asia-Shanghai and Microsoft-INESA AI Innovation Center.

Aimed at driving the digital transformation of government and enterprises, the two entities will promote the development of AI technology and the growth of the AI industry in Shanghai through innovative cooperation.

Dr. Harry Shum, Microsoft Executive Vice President, Artificial Intelligence and Research Group, said: “Digital transformation led by cutting-edge technologies such as AI is starting a new industrial revolution globally, and China has become the most innovative and dynamic market in the world today. With the opportunities brought about by digital transformation, Shanghai has leveraged its advantages and developed a clear plan for AI advancement. The city has created an ideal developmental environment and policy that support technology innovation and talent cultivation as well as the enablement of many compelling AI projects.

Microsoft is committed to providing an innovative platform and technological tools to its users and partners through the creation of an AI ecosystem that drives breakthroughs within China and in the world. With Microsoft Research Asia-Shanghai and the Microsoft-INESA AI Innovation Center, we hope to attract more talents from around the world, accelerate smart innovation, promote cooperative development with our partners, and jointly develop the future of AI.”

Dr. Harry Shum, Microsoft Executive Vice President, Artificial Intelligence and Research Group, addresses WAIC.

Accelerating AI research and development (R&D) from Xuhui District, Shanghai’s Technology Innovation Corridor

Fang Shizhong, the mayor of Xuhui District stated: “Xuhui District and Microsoft have successfully cooperated for a long time in projects such as Microsoft ScaleUp Shanghai, innovation hubs in Caohejing Hi-Tech Park. The establishment of Microsoft Research Asia-Shanghai and the Microsoft-INESA AI Innovation Center in Shanghai will further expand the depth and breadth of cooperation between Microsoft and Xuhui District, and will play an active role in bringing together talents, accelerating development, and leading innovation.”

The Microsoft-INESA AI Innovation Center will be jointly operated and managed by Microsoft and INESA, a China-based organization providing connected system solutions, products and services specific to smart cities and building development. As one of Microsoft’s largest partners in China, INESA is a large-scale state-owned enterprise group affiliated with the Shanghai State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission.

The Center is committed to supporting joint research activities and projects between Microsoft Research Asia-Shanghai and INESA in the field of AI. It will provide local companies with AI R&D platform services as well as training support based on Microsoft technologies, along with the opportunities to work with and learn from outstanding computer scientists. As a work space and development platform for the implementation of large-scale AI projects conducted in conjunction with the government, industry, and research institutes, Microsoft-INESA AI Innovation Center will not set profit as its main goal.

Cai Xiaoqing, President of INESA Group said: “INESA, with its mission of leading the development of the information industry and building smart cities, is committed to becoming a provider and operator of smart city solutions. The Microsoft-INESA AI Innovation Center builds upon the successful cooperation between the two parties over the years and aims to use AI research results to create a platform that develops applications. In addition, the partnership will promote the digital transformation and talent upgrade of government departments and enterprises, and jointly help Shanghai – and even China – to become a world-leading AI innovation source, model application site, industry center, and an area of talent congregation.”

Dr. Hsiao-Wuen Hon, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Asia-Pacific R&D Group, Microsoft Research Asia, said: “With 20 years of experience in advancing basic research and technology transformation, as well as leveraging our business presence in Shanghai, Microsoft Research Asia-Shanghai will strive to transform leading research results into Microsoft products, as well as application demonstration projects in Shanghai. This will make substantial contributions to improving abilities in AI technology innovation, developing the AI integration ecology, and strengthening the cultivation of AI talents.”

Founded in Beijing in 1998, Microsoft Research Asia is Microsoft’s largest research institute outside of the U.S. Over the last 20 years, Microsoft Research Asia has developed into a world-class basic and applied computer research institution. While driving advances in state-of-art computing and rapidly transferring its latest research results into Microsoft products to continuously improve the computing experience, Microsoft Research Asia is focused on next generation revolutionary technologies as well as future computing research and ideas. As one of the earliest research institutes investing in AI research, Microsoft Research Asia has, in recent years, leveraged its solid scientific research accumulation and technical strength to make breakthroughs in the fields of computer vision, machine reading comprehension, machine translation, and more.

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