Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Alibaba is investing $15 billion in R&D over 3 years

Alibaba is investing $15 billion in R&D over 3 years

China's technology conglomerate, Alibaba Group Holding, will increase more than twice its research and development spending (up to United States dollars 15 billion) over the next three years to develop the next generation of technology, boost its growing business and explore ambitious projects, which could change the industries. In an intriguing new development, the company is to launch seven research bases in Israel; China; the US; Russia and Singapore and is looking for talent in fields like quantum computing, fintech and AI.

They will be led out of a new initiative dubbed by Alibaba as the DAMO Academy - with the acronym standing for Discovery, Adventure, Momentum and Outlook. According to a report from Quartz, the money was announced at the company's annual cloud computing conference in Hangzhou.

In agreement, Chief Technology Officer Jeff Zhang outlined Alibaba has developed and now has the power and resources to fulfil the aims of the strategy today. The labs will develop technology and publish papers that will be useful for both Alibaba and third parties.

CTO Jeff Zhang will be head of the academy, which will seek to recruit 100 researchers and scientists to join the program. Within those broad research areas, the researchers will turn their attention to topics such as machine learning, network security, visual computing, natural language processing. The research will be key for Alibaba to reach its goal of serving two billion customers and creating 100 million jobs by 2036.

"The Alibaba DAMO Academy will be at the forefront of developing next-generation technology that will spur the growth of Alibaba and our partners".

Alibaba already has 25,000 engineers and scientists on staff and has spent an average 20-billion yuan ($3bn) a year on research, the company said in Wednesday's statement.

He also said that Alibaba wants to benefit small businesses and narrow the technology gap, "to make our world a more inclusive place".

Michael I Jordan (Professor of University of California, Berkeley), Ru Huang (Professor and Dean of School of Electronics Engineering and Computer Science, Peking University), Wen Gao (Professor and Dean of Faculty of Information and Engineering Sciences, Peking University) and Zhaohui Wu (President, Zhejiang University).

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