Microsoft and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo have announced the launch of a multi-year investment plan designed to accelerate the digital transformation of Belgium’s public and private sectors.
Digital AmBEtion will focus on three aims: providing advanced digital infrastructure, helping citizens develop digital skills, and creating sustainable societal impact. Central to the plan will be Microsoft’s establishment of a new data centre region in the country, which will offer Belgian organisations of all sizes access to Microsoft Azure and its services. Microsoft’s investment in the EU Data Boundary for the Microsoft Cloud will enable customers to keep data transfers inside the European Union. The new data centre region will also feature Azure Availability Zones, physical locations equipped with independent power, networking and cooling for additional tolerance to data centre failures. The Belgian data centre region will also support Microsoft’s sustainability goals, including its commitment to shift to 100 per cent supply of renewable energy in Microsoft data centres by 2025.
“To grow the economy, Belgium needs cutting-edge infrastructure coupled with the highest standards in security and privacy, allowing organisations to innovate faster and be more competitive,” said Didier Ongena, general manager of Microsoft BeLux. “By investing in a data centre region in Belgium, Microsoft creates the best conditions for the digitalisation of the Belgian economy.”
According to market research company IDC, the Microsoft Cloud will help Belgium generate up to €31.5 billion in new revenue and add more than 60,000 jobs to its economy over the next four years.
“Microsoft has made a strong choice by choosing Belgium as the location for its next data centre region,” said De Croo. “This commitment is coupled with investments that once again strengthen our digital competitiveness and will also help create new economic opportunities across the country – opportunities that will benefit all the players in our ecosystem. In recent weeks, Belgium has repeatedly proven that it can play a leading role in Europe. By attracting many projects for the future. By attracting the best partners. By placing its expertise and talents at the heart of a very clear strategy: the future is emerging through a more sustainable, digital and inclusive economy.”
Over the coming months, Microsoft will share more on its Digital AmBEtion plan to support inclusive economic growth and digitalisation.