Yesterday the first Microsoft Cloud and Interoperability Center (CIC) was inaugurated in Brussels. The goal of the Center is to promotes cloud computing innovation in Europe by showcasing the latest technologies and solutions in areas such as education, health and e-government as well as advanced research projects. Microsoft is investing €5.3M in this facility and associated programs because we believe that there’s never been a more important time to invest in accelerating cloud adoption.
The Cloud and Interoperability Center is part of the existing Microsoft Executive Briefing Center and also includes the Microsoft Innovation Center (MIC) for Cloud Solutions, being developed in partnership with the Brussels Regional Government. The MIC in Brussels is the second facility of its kind that Microsoft has established in Belgium, following the successful MIC in Mons, which was opened in 2009. Also this MIC is a public-private partnership, this time between Microsoft and the government of the Brussels Capital region and it is the first MIC in the world focused entirely on the cloud. Its mission will be to incubate new cloud-based businesses by providing local ISVs and start-ups with training on how to build cloud solutions, and we expect it to create about 10 start-ups a year and about 50 new jobs. We are very pleased that Minister Cérexhe of the Brussels Regional Government and his staff are providing strong support and have mad this initiative part of their vision. More to come in the next couple of months when the plan of execution is being finalized.
Keynote speakers at the opening event where:
- Jean-Philippe Courtois, President of Microsoft International (See here for keynote)
- Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda (See here for speech)
- Benoît Cerexhe, Brussels Minister of Economy, Employment, Scientific Research and Foreign Trade
- Andrew Herbert, Chairman of Microsoft Research Europe, Middle East and Africa
Nice anecdote, at the end of Commissioner Kroes speech, which provided a super strong support for Cloud Computing, she stepped off the podium and added “EU” with her waterproof lipstick to the display indicating her support for the initiative.
More on Microsoft Europe activities and initiatives: http://www.microsoft.eu/.