[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 2-Feb-2005
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Weber Shandwick Technology

Microsoft invests in Europe through EuroScience Initiative

New programme for accelerating advances in science establishes centres of excellence, extends research into new areas and helps develop Europe's intellectual capital

PRAGUE, Czech Republic -- 2 Feb 2005 -- At the Government Leaders Forum today, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates announced the EuroScience Initiative in his keynote to over 500 government leaders and public officials. The initiative aims to accelerate fundamental innovation in science and computing through the pursuit of novel avenues of research by Microsoft and key research bodies across Europe, driving scientific discoveries into outcomes with economic and social value.

The EuroScience Initiative is a multi-year programme for collaborative research at the intersection of computing and the sciences, focused on new computing paradigms, computational science and intelligent environments. Investing a broad range of resources and expertise from Microsoft Research over multiple years, working in collaboration with universities, partners and government through new forms of public-private partnerships, the initiative aims to encourage increased innovation and productivity in support of the Lisbon Agenda goals to drive growth and job creation in Europe's knowledge-based economy. The Initiative also encompasses a range of activities contributing to Europe's intellectual capital, including fellowships, scholarships, an award programme and a series of scientific workshops.

"By bringing computing technology and the sciences closer together, the EuroScience initiative will accelerate progress in key areas such as the life and physical sciences, engineering and agriculture," said Gates.

Microsoft Research Centres of Excellence

An important part of the EuroScience programme is investment by Microsoft Research in a network of centres of excellence (CoEs) tied to key research institutions and groups in Europe that have created a hub of knowledge in a particular research area.

The first of these, whose opening was also announced today, is a centre for Computational and Systems Biology, created as a joint venture between Microsoft, the Italian local and central governments, and the University of Trento. At the Trento centre, researchers will focus on creating the next generation of computational tools to enable biologists and others working in the life sciences to better understand and predict complex processes in biological systems, which could lead to new and faster insights into the origin of disease, new therapies and better vaccines.

"This initiative will support the establishment of new kinds of converged scientific research," said Letizia Moratti, Italian Minister of Education, University and Research. "The Trento centre has the potential to bolster new economic growth in the Trentino region and beyond, as well as underpin traditional industries such as agriculture and agriscience."

Additional Microsoft Research CoEs will be established in the coming months. Discussions are underway with select research institutes in France, Germany and the UK.

EuroScience Research Programmes

The EuroScience Initiative has three research programmes at its core:

Microsoft is already working with universities and research centres across Europe to initiate projects within these programmes. Participating universities include University College London, Leipzig University, the University of Southampton, the Technical University of Berlin, the University of York and plans to significantly extend the existing collaboration with INRIA, the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science.

"The EuroScience Initiative represents a continuation of Microsoft's longstanding commitment to innovation in Europe," said Jean-Philippe Courtois, CEO of Microsoft Europe, Middle East and Africa. "By promoting investment, broad participation and critical advances in the EuroScience research priorities, we feel certain that the scientific community, European industry and government will -- in partnership -- help release Europe's full potential."

Developing Europe's Intellectual Capital

To support the vital role of scientific research and innovation in building Europe's knowledge-based economy, the EuroScience Initiative also includes a Career Development Fellowship Programme. Through this fellowship, up to ten promising post-doctoral scientists who are establishing a track record of world-leading research in emerging science and technology will receive support, including funding up to 250,000 euro.

In addition to the Career Development Fellowship Programme, the EuroScience Initiative includes three further programmes to help develop and support Europe's intellectual capital:

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For more information about the EuroScience Initiative, please contact the External Research Office located at Microsoft Research Cambridge: http://www.research.microsoft.com/ero or 44-122-347-9784.

About Microsoft Research

Founded in 1991, Microsoft Research is dedicated to conducting both basic and applied research in computer science and software engineering. Its goals are to enhance the user experience on computing devices, reduce the cost of writing and maintaining software, and invent novel computing technologies. Microsoft Research employs more than 700 people in six labs on three continents, focusing on more than 55 areas of computing. Researchers collaborate with leading academic, government, and industry researchers to advance the state of the art in such areas as graphics, speech recognition, user-interface research, natural language processing, programming tools and methodologies, operating systems and networking, and the mathematical sciences. More information can be found at http://www.research.microsoft.com.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.

About Microsoft EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa)

Microsoft has operated in EMEA since 1982. In the region Microsoft employs more than 12,000 people in over 55 subsidiaries, delivering products and services in more than 139 countries and territories.

This material is for informational purposes only. Microsoft Corporation disclaims all warranties and conditions with regard to use of the material for other purposes. Microsoft Corporation shall not, at any time, be liable for any special, direct, indirect or consequential damages, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other action arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of the material. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting any kind of warranty.

Microsoft is registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Microsoft PR Contacts
Claudia Toth, Microsoft EMEA
E-mail: ctoth@microsoft.com
Phone: 33-6-7418-7357

Weber Shandwick Technology
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Phone: 44-207-067-0500

Microsoft EMEA Press Office
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E-mail: microsoft@emeamedia.com

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