Published: Sat, October 14, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Alibaba Sizes Up Facebook, Amazon With R&D Funding Surge

Alibaba Sizes Up Facebook, Amazon With R&D Funding Surge

On Wednesday, at its annual cloud computing conference in Hangzhou, Alibaba CTO Jeff Zhang announced the company will launch Alibaba DAMO Academy, a worldwide program that will set up research and development labs in China, but also in Russia, Israel and the United States. The other cities are Moscow, Tel Aviv, Beijing and Hangzhou, as well as San Mateo and Bellevue in the United States.

He also said that Alibaba wants to benefit small businesses and narrow the technology gap, "to make our world a more inclusive place". For the academy to be a success, Ma said it will need to outlast Alibaba, solve the problems of the future and, independent of Alibaba, use its own profits to help the group grow to the size of the world's fifth-largest economy by 2036.

China's top e-commerce firm, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, is launching a $15 billion drive to build overseas research hubs as the deep-pocketed firm looks to compete with global leaders in e-commerce, logistics and cloud technology.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has unveiled plans to invest $15 billion in R&D projects. The labs will focus on both disruptive technology research including data intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), fintech, quantum computing and human-machine interaction.

The "Academy for Discovery, Adventure, Momentum and Outlook", will oversee the opening of research and development labs worldwide and seek to recruit talented scientists and researchers to join the program. For example, Alibaba will work with the University of California, Berkeley's Real-Time Intelligent Secure Execution lab (RISELab) on its work into secure computing. DAMO Academy's current advisory board also includes professors from Princeton, Harvard, MIT, the University of Washington, Columbia University, Beijing Institute of Technology, Peking University and Zhejiang University. "We aim to discover breakthrough technologies that will enable greater efficiency, network security and ecosystem synergy for end users and businesses everywhere", said Zhang, reports theFinancial Times. Now the e-commerce giant has 25,000 engineers and scientists on its staff and hopes to create 100m job opportunities within the next two decades.

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