Microsoft announces US$100mn investments in R&D projects

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Microsoft (NYSE: MSFT) unveiled this Wednesday (Nov 7) a 200mn-real (US$100mn) investment plan in R&D and innovation projects in Brazil.

The announcement was made by Microsoft Brasil CEO Michel Levy in a ceremony in the country's capital Brasília in the presence of science, technology and innovation minister Marco Antonio Raupp, and education minister Aloizio Mercadante, the company said in a statement.

According to Microsoft, the investments are in line with the government's recently launched TI Maior program to boost the local software industry, and include the opening of a Microsoft Research advanced technology laboratory (ATL).

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"The projects announced represent a significant investment by Microsoft in Brazil and meet those set by the science ministry's TI Maior program. We're convinced these initiatives contribute to making the country a reference in technology, which is crucial for increasing national competitiveness," the company said.

The ATL will be the company's fourth worldwide - the first in Latin America - and will be focused on developing and expanding locally developed technology, in partnership with academics and MSFT people.

The set of initiatives also includes the launch of a development center for MSFT's search platform Bing, as well as the creation of an investment company and a business accelerator for startups. Microsoft forecasts the creation of over 100 direct jobs.

The investment company will be aimed at supporting Brazilian technology startups with high potential for international expansion, the company said in a note. It will be funded by Microsoft Participações, a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Brazil created specifically to finance startups, and is also expected to receive investment from national partners.

All the projects will be set in a historic building in Rio de Janeiro's downtown area which will be renovated and maintained by Microsoft.