Alibaba to launch $15bn 3 year R&D programme

Alibaba to launch $15bn 3 year R&D programme

Alibaba to launch $15bn 3 year R&D programme

The new research labs will focus on foundational and disruptive technology research, including data intelligence, Internet of Things, fintech, quantum computing and human-machine interaction. DAMO Academy is a program that will introduce research centers and Development labs globally.

DAMO Academy (the initials stand for "discovery, adventure, momentum and outlook") will be led by Alibaba Group chief technology officer Jeff Zhang and start by opening labs in seven cities around the world: Beijing and Hangzhou in China; San Mateo and Bellevue in the U.S.; Moscow, Russia; Tel Aviv, Israel; and Singapore.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Alibaba Chief Technical Officer Jeff Zhang said the new labs will go a long way to "help solve issues that Alibaba is now facing across its business lines".

Over the next three years, the company plans to spend $15 billion on research and development, a significant increase over its current rate of spending. In particular, the focus will be on topics such as machine learning, network security, visual computing and natural language processing.

Ma's grand vision for Alibaba, which requires the company to continue doing business for at least another 84 years, also applies to the DAMO Academy. The company has built an advisory board for the academy includes professors from a number of leading research institutions both in China and the U.S. In addition, the company plans to work with local partners to drive its research forward.

Alibaba said the DAMO Academy has already established a partnership with the University of California, Berkeley, which will see the entities explore areas such as secured real-time computing through the RISE Lab. "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.

Alibaba now has 25,000 engineers on staff, it says, and says the new research infrastructure will help them meet a goal of two billion customers within two decades.

Related news