Innovation

Microsoft has announced today the launch of an IoT Innovation Center in Taipei, Taiwan, the company’s first such facility in Asia.

The Taiwanese government hopes the centre can be a key factor toward helping Taiwanese IoT companies go global by offering R&D and technology support.

“The ultimate goal is to transform Taiwan’s hardware and component centric business model to a platform based or vertically integrated one,” said Jong-chin Shen, Deputy Minister, Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), in an official statement. 

The government has partnered with Microsoft in the inception of the Microsoft IoT Innovation Center in order to leverage Microsofts R&D capability, cloud services, and data analytics to integrate into the IoT supply chain,” he added. 

From the perspective of Microsoft, the innovation centre gives the company a physical presence in a region it sees as both critical and fast-growing, according to Sam George, General Manager at Azure IoT.

“We have deployed the Azure IoT Suite to multiple regions in the world and believe that through the first Microsoft IoT Expo in Asia, our market leading IoT offerings and the newly launched Microsoft IoT Innovation Center will enable customers and partners to realize the enormous business potential of IoT,” he said.

Azure is Microsoft’s cloud computing platform.

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Microsoft says it chose Taiwan as its IoT hub because of its tradition as a leader in the manufacturing sector.

“The Microsoft IoT Innovation Center in Taiwan is our starting point for capturing the booming IoT opportunity in Asia. We aim to do this by accelerating the collaboration between Taiwan-based companies and global partners,” said Chris Phillips, General Manager, Partner and Customer Ecosystem, Cloud Enterprise, Microsoft.

While the Taiwanese tradition of manufacturing is undeniable, in recent years the industry has been stuck in a rut. It is projected to grow by a mere 1 per cent in 2017, according to the government-sponsored Industrial Technology Research Institute’s Industrial Economics and Knowledge Center.

But in some senses, the rut could be seen as a positive for Microsoft, as the IoT centre could help bring an old, traditional industry into the realities of the modern economy. The company pointed out that half of all companies with a Microsoft Azure Certificate for IoT are Asian.

“We provide access to and training on Azure IoT Suite, Cognitive Services, and Windows 10 IoT, facility sharing, middleware development, and collaborative projects, enabling members to learn from each other to develop hardware, software, and services needed for IoT solutions,” said Cathy Yeh, Principal PM Manager, Cloud Enterprise Product Group, Internet of Things Innovation Center.

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The IoT centre is stressing a global outlook, citing a network of 370 partners across Asia as well as R&D integration, technology development and international cooperation.

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