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Microsoft Commits £1.5 Billion to Expand AI and Cloud Infrastructure in Spain

Microsoft has revealed a substantial investment into Europe, earmarking £1.5 billion to expand its artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud infrastructure in Spain.

Following a meeting with Spain’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, Brad Smith, Microsoft’s vice chair and president, confirmed the company’s commitment to Spain over the next two years.

Smith emphasised that their endeavour extends beyond mere data centre construction, highlighting Microsoft’s dedication to fostering the nation’s “security, development, and digital transformation of its government, businesses, and people.”

The company’s engagement with Spain spans 37 years, with a recent milestone being the establishment of a new research and development centre for AI technologies in Barcelona, announced in September 2021.

Alberto Granados, President of Microsoft Spain, hailed this investment as testament to Spain’s prowess in the digital arena.

This initiative follows Microsoft’s recent £2.2 billion investment into Germany’s AI landscape, announced on February 15.

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Echoing their Spanish strategy, Microsoft aims to utilise the funds over the next two years to fortify German AI infrastructure, erect new data centres, and provide AI skills training.

The surge of Big Tech investments in Europe aligns with the imminent enactment of the EU AI Act legislation.

Concurrently, France’s Ministry of Economy, Finance, and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, in collaboration with Google, unveiled plans to establish an AI-focused hub in Paris.

This hub, set to accommodate nearly 300 researchers and engineers, will bolster France’s AI aspirations.

Notably, Google unveiled its “AI Opportunity Initiative for Europe” two days prior, vowing a £21.4 million investment in AI skills training for Europeans.

These investments underscore the tech industry’s recognition of Europe’s burgeoning AI landscape and the imperative to nurture local talent.

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