Microsoft opens European Cloud and Interoperability Center
Microsoft invests 5.3m euros into European Cloud and Interoperability Center to drive innovation and growth across Europe through cloud applications.
Microsoft has today opened a European Cloud & Interoperability Center (CIC) in Brussels. Located within the Microsoft Executive Briefing Center, Microsoft has invested 5.3m Euros into the CIC – designed to drive innovation and economic growth across Europe through business use of cloud computing. The center is set to provide a reference point on cloud computing across the region to help Europe develop as a technology leader; bringing together government representatives, researchers, small businesses and others to experience technology which will positively impact the daily lives of millions of Europeans.
New technologies on display at the European CIC will provide a vision of productivity improvements and cost savings that will help governments meet the pressures on public budgets and societal challenges such as health, skills and education, research and the environment. In addition, the CIC will provide demonstrations of the latest public sector, enterprise and consumer cloud applications, envisioning future technology today, enabling more efficient and effective health, education and environmental solutions.
Read the full press release on the opening of the CIC here.
In addition, Microsoft today announced that it has formed a strategic partnership with Living PlanIT, the technology company enabling the development of innovative, intelligent and sustainable urban-scale environments. Read the full release here.
- 'Working towards a cloud-active strategy in Europe': a blog by Jean-Philippe Courtois, President of Microsoft International
- Read a blog by Niels Soelberg, Vice President, Public Sector, Microsoft EMEA, on the CIC opening here
- Visit Microsoft's Cloud Knowledge Center
- Search the hashtag #CIC on Twitter for more updates and tweets from the opening
- Microsoft Seeks Harmonization Of EU Cloud Computing Rules, Dow Jones Newswires
- Microsoft Opens European Cloud Centre, eWeek Europe
- EU puts standardization at forefront of cloud computing, IDG News Services
Jean-Philippe Courtois, president of Microsoft International, stated: "We see a strong future ahead for a robust and dynamic cloud economy in Europe. We view investment in this Cloud and Interoperability Center as an important part of Microsoft’s role in working to lead a proactive cloud computing strategy for Europe. We are helping to drive the adoption of cloud computing by people, governments and businesses, working closely with our extensive network of partners and developers. Now is the time to embrace change — cloud computing presents a huge opportunity to fuel economic growth of the region."
During a transatlantic videoconference, European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes congratulated Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on the opening of the center, and she welcomed the center's focus on interoperability and standards. "This gives me confidence that Microsoft and other cloud providers and users will contribute constructively to my work on a European cloud computing strategy. All together we can tackle the challenges we face today and get the most out of this technology," she said.
Commenting on the importance of the cloud especially for SMEs, Courtois added: "Small businesses are the backbone of the European economy, and for them cloud computing creates a level playing field of opportunities, helping to drive innovation and economic growth and create new jobs. Many young entrepreneurs have already become our partners and embrace the cloud as a key technology for their business success."
Microsoft's Cloud and Interoperability Center provides a platform to experience cloud technology and share resources and knowledge, thereby acting as an incubator and catalyst for cloud computing in Europe in various fields. It addresses different audiences, from governments and academics to industry, in particular SMEs. Microsoft will focus 90 per cent of the $9.5 billion global R&D budget on cloud-computing-related efforts.
In addition to the Cloud and Interoperability Center the premises will also host a Microsoft Innovation Center (MIC) — a public-private partnership between Microsoft and the government of the Brussels Capital region. The Microsoft Innovation Center in Brussels is the second facility of its kind that Microsoft has established in Belgium, following the MIC in Mons, which was opened in 2009. The MIC will provide young entrepreneurs with training to improve their technology and business skills, integrate them into fast-growing domains, such as cloud computing, and give them access to state-of-the-art technology facilities. The support to SMEs and startups will be instrumental in helping stimulate the local technology sector. The MIC aims to create 50 information and communication technology jobs per year in the Brussels region.
Europe stands to reap important benefits from a move to the cloud. Projections from the University of Venice about the economic impact suggest that the diffusion of cloud computing may boost productivity in all sectors and create several hundred thousand new European SMEs, increase EU gross domestic product up to 0.4 per cent, and create more than a million individual new jobs under a "fast adoption" scenario.
"We are asking European governments and businesses to help drive cloud computing forward, given the clear opportunity it presents for increased efficiency, flexibility and innovation — not just within individual organisations but also in creating new opportunities for the entire region," Courtois added.
Microsoft will host over 50 demos at its Brussels premises showcasing the latest public-sector, enterprise and consumer applications for areas as diverse as e-government, healthcare, environment, education, and defence and national security. A special emphasis is given to interoperability and cloud solutions for governments. Most of these demos are solutions built by European SMEs on top of Microsoft platforms, highlighting the potential of the cloud technology for economic competitiveness in Europe. The CIC also includes a local datacentre with 25 servers that will host and drive innovative cloud applications and foster collaborative approaches through its link to the broader network of Microsoft datacentres.
The CIC will also be the host to research conducted for the VENUS-C project. Microsoft is the initiator of and a major partner in the project, which is co-funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme to deploy cloud computing services for eScience, involving research institutions across Europe.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.
About Microsoft EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa)
Microsoft has operated in EMEA since 1982. In the region Microsoft employs more than 16,000 people in over 64 subsidiaries, delivering products and services in more than 139 countries and territories.
This material is for informational purposes only. Microsoft Corp disclaims all warranties and conditions with regard to use of the material for other purposes. Microsoft Corp shall not, at any time, be liable for any special, direct, indirect or consequential damages, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other action arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of the material. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting any kind of warranty.
Microsoft PR Contacts
Sabina Gockel, Weber Shandwick
Phone: +32 2 8949029
Microsoft EMEA Response Centre
Note to editors
If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft in EMEA, please visit http://www.microsoft.com/emea or the EMEA Press Centre at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/emea/presscentre. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at the time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact the appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/emea/presscentre/contactus.mspx.
If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft Corp, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news on Microsoft's corporate information pages.