Joint research centers

Joint research centers


Asia-Pacific centers

Microsoft Institute of Japanese Academic Research Collaboration
Tokyo, Japan

Microsoft Institute for Japanese Academic Research Collaboration (IJARC) was established in July 2005 as a platform for collaboration between Microsoft and Japanese academia. Microsoft Research Asia works with faculty and students to bring opportunities and connections with the Microsoft Research labs in Beijing, Redmond, Cambridge, and other locations. IJARC’s Academic Advisory Committee (AAC), which consists of one director and six advisors, helps Microsoft better understands the needs of Japanese academia and identifies opportunities and priorities. Currently, the AAC members are from University of Tokyo, University of Kyoto, University of Osaka, Keio University, Waseda University, and Tokyo Institute of Technology.

KAIST–Microsoft Research Collaboration Center
Daedeok, Korea

The center, established in October 2008, explores a platform to advance state-of-the-art, computing-related research. Its goal is to strengthen the mutually beneficial relationships between research (including scientific research), talent fostering, academic exchanges, and curriculum development. Areas of research include a technical computing initiative (System biology.NET), cyber-physical systems, real-world-scale computing, uCampus, and creative interaction design. Additionally, the center is exploring the development of a curriculum for a cyber physical systems (CPS) – home service robot class. New talent is cultivated through programs such as early-career professorships, student fellowships, and internships. The center will continue to evolve and develop other research projects as they present themselves.

China Ministry of Education–Microsoft Key Laboratory of Information Technology, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Hong Kong, China

Created in September 2000, the Key Laboratory of Information Technology conducts high-quality research by integrating the strengths of Microsoft Research Asia and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in the areas of computer networks, multimedia, databases, and artificial intelligence. The lab has published papers in international conferences, including ICCV, CVPR, ECCV, SIGGRAPH, and ICML and in journals such as PAMI and TNN. Some lab members received “Best Paper” awards at the QShine 2006 conference. The lab cohosted HKACM Student Research Day in 2013.

China Ministry of Education–Microsoft Key Laboratory of Human-Centric Computation and Interface Technologies Laboratory, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong, China

Established in May 2005, the Human-Centric Computation and Interface Technologies Laboratory conducts research on topics such as visual computing, wireless and network communication, speech processing, and multi-model interaction as well as multi-media signal processing and retrieval. Microsoft Research Asia collaborated with the Chinese University of Hong Kong to work on these areas and try to make the computer “see” users, “understand” what users say, and “perceive” user intentions and actions. Lab members have published many significant papers, including some at SIGGRAPH, WWW, CVPR, ICCV, HLT, IEEE Trans. on PAMI, and IEEE Transactions on Multimedia. Lab members have won “Best Paper” awards at IEEE NOMS 2006 and IFIP Performance 2005. In 2013, the lab hosted the Big Data Analytics Workshop in Hong Kong.

China Ministry of Education–Microsoft Key Laboratory of Media and Networking Technology, Tsinghua University
Beijing, China

The lab, created in January 2000, conducts research projects in the areas of computer networks, multimedia, databases, and information retrieval. Lab members have published many significant papers in international journals and conferences including IEEE Transaction on Multimedia, SIGIR, SIGKDD, and ACM MM. The lab also plays a very important role in academic exchanges. In August 2007, it co-organized the first Microsoft Research Asia–Tsinghua University Workshop on Internet Services. Prior to that, the lab co-organized the NICT China–Japan Forum in Beijing in 2005 and 2006. The lab has organized the annual Microsoft Research Asia-Tsinghua Workshop since 2011.

China Ministry of Education–Microsoft Key Laboratory of Multimedia Computing and Communication, University of Science and Technology of China
Hefei, China

Founded in September 2003, this lab was created for research in signal processing and speech recognition, content-based retrieval, and wireless video communication. Lab members have published significant papers in IEEE Trans. on Image Processing, IEEE Trans. on Circuit and System, ICIP, and ICME. Eight technologies generated by the lab have been accepted by the Joint Video Team in Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG/JVT). Through the platform, young professors have the opportunity to work at Microsoft Research Asia as visiting researchers. The lab was upgraded to become a China Ministry of Education Key Lab in 2004. Through the lab, Microsoft Research Asia and the University of Science and Technology of China have jointly supervised more than 70 PhD students in past 10 years.

China Ministry of Education–Microsoft Key Laboratory of Natural Language Processing and Speech, Harbin Institute of Technology
Harbin, China

This laboratory was established in June 2000 for research in the areas of machine translation, information retrieval, speech recognition and processing, natural language understanding, among others. In July 2006, the Shenzhen extension of the lab was launched. More than 200 staff and students have undertaken research projects, including some sponsored by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the National 863 program of China. Since 2005, the lab has also been organizing a summer camp in Harbin Institute of Technology, and approximately 150 faculty members and students from universities in China have participated. Through the lab, a Microsoft Research Asia-HIT joint PhD program was implemented in 2012.

China Ministry of Education–Microsoft Key Laboratory of Visual Perception, Zhe Jiang University
Hangzhou, China

Established in November 1999, this lab was the first joint lab between Microsoft Research Asia and universities in China. Its research areas include video object motion tracking and recognition, efficient modeling, and photorealistic rendering. Researchers have undertaken projects including ones funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and have published papers in ACM Multimedia, SIGGRAPH, CVPR, ICIP, Computer Vision and Image Understanding, International Journal of Computer Vision, International Journal of Visualization and Computer Vision, Journal of Software, among others.

China Ministry of Education–Microsoft Key Laboratory of Intelligent Computing and System Laboratory, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Shanghai, China

Founded in September 2005, the Microsoft Intelligent Computing and System Laboratory explores ways to make breakthroughs in traditional digital computing within the area of intelligent information processing. Areas of research are computing of artificial intelligence and artificial intelligence search. Projects explored include Theories and Models on Brain-like Computing, Theories and Methods on Computer Vision based on Human Visual Information Processing, Brain – Computer Interface Technology, and more. Through the joint lab, several researchers at Microsoft Research Asia have been invited to become adjunct professors at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and are co-supervising PhD students at the university. Through the lab, Microsoft Research Asia, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and Cornell University formed a joint-PhD program that started in 2013.

China Ministry of Education–Microsoft Key Laboratory of Statistics and Information Technology Laboratory, Peking University
Beijing, China

In April 2005, Microsoft Research Asia collaborated with Peking University to set up a joint laboratory for solving problems in information technology by using statistics, mathematics, and computing technologies. In addition to fostering a new generation of talent with skills and knowledge in statistics and information technology, the laboratory aims to integrate advanced statistical methods with other disciplines. The lab also collaborates with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the United States to do remote sensing and detection of the Beijing atmosphere. In addition to conducting research, the lab also organizes an annual summer school to cultivate talent in statistics and information technologies. More than 100 faculty members and students have benefited from the summer school. The lab has participated in the annual Microsoft Research Asia-Tsinghua Workshop since 2013.

Microsoft Intelligent Information Processing Laboratory, Xi’an Jiao Tong University
Xi’an, China

Created in June 2007, the Microsoft Intelligent Information Processing Laboratory is a joint initiative between Microsoft Research Asia and universities in China. Its objective is to conduct fundamental research in the areas of intelligent computing, software systems, and network information processing. Some of the projects being explored include Data Mining Principles and Methods based on Perceptual and Cognitive Understanding, and Machine Learning Theory and Algorithm under the Framework of Lipschitz Space.

Microsoft Digital Cartoon and Animation Laboratory, Beijing Film Academy
Beijing, China

Founded in October 2006, the laboratory is jointly managed by Microsoft Research Asia and the Beijing Film Academy. Research areas include digital cartooning and animation, gaming, and graphics. The lab has conducted groundbreaking research in those fields, especially in the animation of Chinese traditional art. The cartoon movie “Huan Xiao Man Wu,” produced with the participation of the lab, was named as one of the Best Cartoon Movie Nominees at the China Huabiao cinematic ceremonies in Beijing in 2007. The lab helps transfer Microsoft technologies in graphics and computer vision into digital entertainment products.

Microsoft–Queensland University of Technology Centre for eResearch
Brisbane, Australia

This center, created in October 2006, explores research in the areas of urban planning, water management, and climate change, with the Microsoft component focused on the development of computing tools and techniques to enable and accelerate scientific research. The center started by examining three areas of research closely: bioinformatics tool development, sensor networks, and parallelism. The center continues to evolve and adjust to other research requests as they present themselves.

Microsoft Research Centre for Social Natural User Interfaces
Melbourne, Australia

The University of Melbourne and Microsoft Research created the Microsoft Research Centre for Social Natural User Interfaces in December 2013, in partnership with the state government of Victoria and Microsoft Australia. The center is a place of interdisciplinary research for creating and understanding innovative interfaces that facilitate human communication, collaboration and social interaction. It is the world’s first joint research center dedicated to studying and perfecting the social applications of natural user interfaces (NUI). Learn more…


European centers

Microsoft Research-Lomonosov Moscow State University Joint Research Center
Moscow, Russia

Founded in April 2014, this partnership will run three years and cover research in such areas as big data processing/visualization and computer vision, and will offer major research events for students. The roots of this collaboration go back almost 20 years, when an agreement was signed between Microsoft and Lomonosov Moscow State University’s (MSU) Faculty of Computational Mathematics and Cybernetics. More than 10,000 undergrads, graduate students, and young researchers from Russia have participated in joint projects and events organized by Microsoft Research and MSU. MSU’s research focuses on two important areas: computer vision and big data visualization. Learn more…

Microsoft Research–Inria Joint Centre
Saclay, France

The Microsoft Research-Inria Joint Centre was founded in 2006 by Inria (the French National Research Institute for Computer Science and Applied Mathematics), Microsoft Corporation, and Microsoft Research Cambridge. The center has been a constant source of investigative excellence, renowned for applying computer science and mathematics to a broad spectrum of scientific challenges, from formal methods for mathematics, distributed systems and security, to computer vision and medical imaging, to machine learning and big data, and to social networks and privacy. The results of the Centre’s research are public and thus freely available to the international scientific community. The renewal of this fruitful partnership in 2014 will keep the Microsoft Research-Inria Joint Centre funded through 2017. Learn more…

Microsoft Research – Swiss Joint Research Center
Lausanne and Zurich, Switzerland

This center, established on June 2013 is the renewal of ICES (Innovation Cluster for Embedded Software), a collaborative research engagement between ETH Zurich, École Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), and Microsoft Research. Their shared vision is that the center undertake the toughest computer science challenges in areas as diverse as human-computer interaction, machine vision, performance and energy scalability, mobile computing, and data center optimization. Learn more…

The following projects are currently being pursued by the listed principal investigators at the Microsoft Research – Swiss Joint Research Center at EPFL and ETH Zurich, Switzerland:

  • Scale-Out NUMA
    Edouard Bugnion, EPFL
    Babak Falsafi, EPFL
    Dushyanth Narayanan, Microsoft Research
  • Micro-Aerial Vehicles (MAVs) for Interaction, Videography, and 3D Reconstruction
    Otmar Hilliges, ETH Zurich
    Marc Pollefeys, ETH Zurich
    Shahram Izadi, Microsoft Research
  • Software-Defined Networks: Algorithms and Mechanisms
    Roger Wattenhofer, ETH Zurich
    Ratul Mahajan, Microsoft Research
  • Efficient Data Processing Through Massive Parallelism and FPGA-Based Acceleration
    Gustavo Alonso, ETH Zurich
    Ken Eguro, Microsoft Research
  • Authenticated Encryption: Security Notions, Constructions, and Applications
    Serge Vaudenay, EPFL
    Markulf Kohlweiss, Microsoft Research
  • Towards Resource Efficient Data Centers
    Florin Dinu, EPFL
    Sergey Legtchenko, Microsoft Research
  • Availability and Reliability as a Resource for Large-Scale in Memory Databases on Datacenter Computers
    Torsten Hoefler, ETH Zurich
    Miguel Castro, Microsoft Research

Microsoft Research – IMDEA Software Joint Research Center
Madrid, Spain

This collaborative venture between Microsoft Research and IMDEA Software launched in April 2014. At the center, researchers from Microsoft Research and IMDEA Software work on topics of mutual interest that fall into the following broad categories: cloud storage systems and mobile platforms; cloud/web security and malware detection; cryptography and privacy; concurrency, parallelism, and memory models; and programming languages and verification. A distinctive feature of the center is an annual workshop. Learn more…

Latin America

Latin American centers

Latin American and Caribbean Collaborative ICT Research Federation (LACCIR Virtual Institute)
Santiago, Chile

LACCIR Virtual Institute was created in May 2007 in response to Microsoft Research’s request for proposals to provide Latin American and Caribbean universities with a sustainable virtual collaborative environment to promote cross-country research and educational solutions. Its primary goal is to stimulate Latin American and Caribbean academic collaborative research in ICT as an enabler of economic and social development. Operated as a research federation with more than 50 top research institutions throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, LACCIR is managed by Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and Universidad de Chile.

Microsoft Research–FAPESP Institute for IT Research
São Paulo, Brazil

Created in April 2007, the FAPESP (Foundation for the Support of Research in the São Paulo State) Institute supports high-quality, fundamental research in information and communication technologies to help address the social and social and economic development needs of the region. The institute helps establish a network of researchers to expand the capabilities of computing technology to benefit rural and urban underprivileged communities in Brazil. Learn more…


Past centers

BSC–Microsoft Research Centre
Barcelona, Spain

The BSC-Microsoft Research Centre is a research venture jointly created by Microsoft Research Cambridge and the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre. Established in January 2008, the center focuses on the design and interactions of microprocessors and software for the mobile and desktop market segments. The vision of the center is of a top-down computer architecture in which software requirements drive the hardware innovation rather than letting the hardware design drive software development. Initial projects conducted at the center included fundamental and applied research in transactional memories, writing of parallel programs for multi-core processors, and hardware support for managed runtimes. Partnerships like this center assist Microsoft Research in supporting the global research community and ultimately helps researchers and scientists address some of the most difficult and urgent societal and technological challenges worldwide. Learn more…

Center for Collaborative Technologies, University of Washington
Seattle, Washington, United States

Established in July 2007, the Center for Collaborative Technologies focuses on advancing the collaboration technology for the ConferenceXP platform with the goal of establishing it as a widely-used collaborative tool for distance learning and research support. The ConferenceXP project began in 2002 and provides infrastructure to supports three primary scenarios: real-time research collaboration, wireless-enabled classrooms, and highly interactive distributed learning environments. The project enables researchers and developers to develop collaborative tools and applications without having to build them from scratch. The center is jointly managed by the University of Washington and Microsoft Research to develop the next versions of ConferenceXP. Learn more…

Games for Learning Institute, New York University
New York, New York, United States

The Games for Learning Institute (G4LI) at New York University (NYU), is a joint research endeavor with Microsoft Research, NYU, and a consortia of universities. Launched in October 2008, the multidisciplinary, multi-institutional gaming research alliance aims to provide the fundamental scientific evidence to support digital games as tools for teaching science, technology, engineering, and math at the middle-school level. Partners include Columbia University, the City University of New York, Dartmouth College, Parsons, Polytechnic Institute of NYU, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and Teachers College. The institute works to identify which qualities of computer games engage students and develop relevant, personalized teaching strategies to aid in the learning process. Ken Perlin, professor of computer science in NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences is the G4LI director; Jan Plass, associate professor of educational communication and technology at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development is the co-director. While NYU serves as the hub of the G4LI in its Computer Science Media Research Laboratory at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at NYU, the multi-institutional institute has a myriad of partners conducting research.

IPRE – Institute for Personal Robots in Education at Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, Georgia, United States

The Institute for Personal Robots in Education at Georgia Tech, created in July 2006, focuses on using easy-to-use robotics technology to revitalize the undergraduate computer science curriculum, specifically the introductory courses where the greatest rate of attrition occurs. Funding comes from Microsoft with matching funds from Georgia Tech and Bryn Mawr to help develop and evaluate robotics technology that will bring measurable gains in computer-science class enrollment and retention. The curriculum developed will continue to evolve and develop and eventually by adopted by other universities that have computer science programs. Learn more…

Microsoft Center for Interaction Design and Visualization at the University of Maryland
College Park, Maryland, United States

The center, created in November 2003, explored the ways humans interact with computers, focusing on the design, implementation, and evaluation of new interface technologies that are potentially useful and appealing to a wide range of people. Some of the projects included DataLens, Piccolo, Launch Tile & Applens, Routelens, and CrossY, one-handed interface design for mobile devices, paper-based interface, and advanced pen-computing. See Human-Computer Interaction Lab at the University of Maryland >

Microsoft Center for Research on Pen-Centric Computing, Brown University
Providence, Rhode Island, United States

The Microsoft Center for Research on Pen-Centric Computing at Brown, established in March 2006, examined and facilitated research focused on improving pen-based operation of Tablet PCs, Pocket PCs, Palm Pilot personal digital assistants; electronic whiteboards; and conventional desktop computers. The center was the first academic research program in the nation dedicated to pen-centric computing innovation. Through the three-year joint research and education alliance, Microsoft Research and Brown University explored and developed new ways to use pen-like styluses to operate computing devices. Learn more…

Microsoft Research–University of Trento Centre for Computational and Systems Biology
Rovereto, Italy

Established on February 2005, this center contributes to the future of life and natural sciences. Here, life scientists can connect models and experiments by using new conceptual and computational tools in a user-friendly environment. Equipped with templates of major biological components for drag-and-drop modeling of (artificial) organisms or populations, researchers work to predict the behavior of multi-level, multi-scale biological systems in a modular, compositional, scalable, and executable manner. COSBI also strives to contribute to the future of computer science by developing a novel generation of operating systems and programming languages that enable simulation-based research within a quantitative reference framework that connects in-silico replica and actual systems by means of the new quantitative conceptual and computational tools above. Learn more…

UPCRC – Universal Parallel Computing Research Center, University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California, United States

The Universal Parallel Computing Research Center (UPCRC) at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) is a joint research undertaking between Microsoft and Intel aimed at accelerating developments in mainstream parallel computing, for consumers and businesses in desktop and mobile computing. Launched in March 2008, it is located inside Soda Hall on the UC Berkeley campus. This center is led by David Patterson, UC Berkeley professor of computer science. The UPCRC at UC Berkeley works in conjunction with eight principal investigators and six co-principal investigators from the UC faculty, supporting approximately 50 PhD students and post-docs. Research at this center may lead to specific projects in the areas of personal health, auditory systems, photo searching, speech recognition, and others. Learn more…

UPCRC – Universal Parallel Computing Research Center, University of Illinois
Champaign, Illinois, United States

The Universal Parallel Computing Research Center (UPCRC) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) is a joint research undertaking between Microsoft and Intel aimed at accelerating developments in mainstream parallel computing for consumers and businesses in desktop and mobile computing. Launched in March 2008, it is co-directed by Marc Snir, professor of computer science, and Wen-mei Hwu, professor of electrical and computer engineering. This center will benefit from the support of UIUC’s broad-based faculty, which has expertise across the entire problem chain facing parallel computing. The faculty has demonstrated excellence in the most critical areas of parallel computing (for example, architecture and compiler support) and the ability to take a unique multi-disciplinary approach. The combination of the Illinois faculty accomplishments in these areas with the Illinois history of innovation in parallel computing make Illinois an ideal partner for this research undertaking.