Microsoft goes wholesale, opening 14 academic innovation centres in India

07th December 2012
Microsoft goes wholesale, opening 14  academic innovation centres in India

Bangalore, December 7, 2012Microsoft  has  launched  one of the biggest initiatives of its worldwide education  programme,  announcing the  near-simultaneous  opening of 14 Microsoft Innovation Centers (MICs) in India. 
The company has signed MoUs with leading academic institutions across four states,  covering 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.
Microsoft currently hosts 75 MICs,  worldwide  and said it 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 start-ups.
The MICs  are expected to  serve 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
Says , Joseph Landes, General Manager, Developer&Platform Evangelism, Microsoft India:  “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.”
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.
Dr. G. Viswanathan, Founder & Chancellor, VIT University, Vellore, says, “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.
Microsoft Innovation Centre home page here
We have for a few days, a video in our tech video spot on the home page, of the inauguration of the Guntur MIC by James Landes today, a clip from the telugu language channel,  TV 5 news