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Microsoft Innovation Centers (MICs) introduced to boost student technology expertise across India

Microsoft Innovation Centers (MICs) introduced to boost student technology expertise across India

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First wave of 14 MICs announced, with over 100 centers to be launched over the next two years to drive employability, innovation, and entrepreneurship

Microsoft Corporation (India) Pvt. Ltd. today announced the launch of 14 Microsoft Innovation Centers (MICs) in India, signing MoUs with leading academic institutions across four states. As part of the worldwide program, that currently has 75 MICs, Microsoft aims to launch a total of 100 MICs in India in the next two years. These MICs will impact over 500,000 students, certifying 100,000 students on Microsoft technologies. The program will also drive innovation and help build a product-based software economy by supporting product development, and over 500 startups.

The MICs will act as innovation hubs at select colleges and technology institutes, providing incubation and expert hands-on support on Microsoft technology innovation, research, and software solutions, aiming to create a pool of student technology experts across India.

Each MIC will function as a hub for five other neighboring colleges and will operate in a hub-spoke model driving employability, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the academic ecosystem around it. The 14 cities that will host the first MICs, opening this week will be Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Rajahmundry, Khammam, Bapatla, Guntur and Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh, Raipur in Chhattisgarh, Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, Trichy, Vellore, Coimbatore, Madurai and Salem in Tamil Nadu.

Commenting on the launch of MICs in India, Joseph Landes, General Manager, DPE, Microsoft India, said, "The Microsoft Innovation Centers are designed to offer a unique environment conducive for student entrepreneurship. As knowledge and innovation become primary catalysts for economic growth in India, the Microsoft Innovation Centers can play a vital role in generating powerful new ideas through training, education and knowledge transfer."

The MIC program will act as the key driver of Microsoft’s vision for developing new talent in India at the student level. Budding developers will be encouraged to innovate across key priority technology focus areas that are driving growth and change for the economy, namely: Mobility (Windows Phone), Cloud (Windows Azure), Kinect, Accessibility, Healthcare and a wider ambit for solving problems with an India focus.

Expressing his vision for MICs at his institution, Dr. G. Viswanathan, Founder & Chancellor, VIT University, Vellore, said, "Innovation is an intrinsic part of the philosophy we live here at VIT University, which was established with the aim of providing quality higher education on par with international standards. Our students have been actively involved in the Imagine Cup - another great program from Microsoft that fosters innovation among students to address key global challenges. Being a part of the first group of the Microsoft Innovation Center (MICs) in India, we see VIT becoming a center for applied technology solutions, digital literacy and a creator of socio-economic change in the community and the economy. The technology areas that we will focus on include Cloud, Mobile, and other core technologies, will allow us to provide a holistic skill roadmap for all our students, whether they want to pursue a career in technology, academics or business.

The MIC announcement comes days after the India launch of Microsoft’s new global philanthropy initiative, YouthSpark – aimed at addressing the opportunity divide faced by the young people of the world. In particular, MICs will play a crucial role in deepening the relationship between academia and industry, enhancing at a very basic level, employability and education, reducing the digital divide, support for innovation and driving sustainable socio-economic impact.

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