Kolkata, Dec 7 (IBNS) Software giant Microsoft Corporation (India) Pvt. Ltd. on Friday 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 start-ups.
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, "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.