Local businesses and government organisations in Miami, Florida will soon have access to a new state-of-the-art facility to help foster innovation, collaboration and economic growth when the first US-based Microsoft Innovation Center (MIC) opens later this spring.
The centre will be hosted by Microsoft education partner Venture Hive and will be equipped with the latest technology and tools to help drive job creation, increase the number and availability of highly skilled technology specialists, and facilitate collaboration among a variety of diverse groups in the area. It has been established as part of the Microsoft CityNext initiative, a programme focused on accelerating innovation in urban areas by harnessing the ideas, energy and expertise of local people to create a healthier, safer and more sustainable place to live.
City of Miami commissioner Marc Sarnoff, Miami-Dade county mayor Carlos Gimenez, City of Miami mayor Tomas Regalado and Dr Susan Amat, founder of Venture Hive, joined Microsoft executives to make the announcement, which coincided with the launch of Techweek Miami 2014.
“The opening of the Microsoft Innovation Center in Miami signals our commitment to providing our cities and local communities with resources and technology that help spur economic development and create opportunities for shared learning,” said Sanket Akerkar, vice president of Developer and Platform Evangelism at Microsoft. “By building the centre in the heart of Miami and making it available to the people, especially youth and students, we’re helping empower the city to become a more prosperous place to live and work.”
The Miami MIC will specifically target four primary audiences:
- Academia: the centre will provide students with a space to learn about and receive training from skilled specialists regarding the tools and technologies being used for specific courses or curriculum. In addition, the facility will help students build portfolios and experiential opportunities for better workforce preparedness
- Start-ups: entrepreneurs and prospective start-ups will be able to access Microsoft tools, technology and hardware to help test, develop and hone their solution or craft. The centre will also provide access to specialists who can help remediate technical issues, and to potential interns or full-time employees who may have needed expertise or knowledge. In addition, it offers start-ups networking opportunities and the potential to become a BizSpark Network Partner or customer
- Government: the centre will provide a source for job creation as it allows government organisations access to an increased pool of highly skilled workers who have an extensive understanding of technology. Further, the MIC will help put Miami on the map as a centre for international innovation and growth
- Local and Latin American (Latam) community: the local community will be able to use the latest technologies from Microsoft and its partner ecosystem. It will offer citizens a space to learn how technology works and how it can be used to create a real impact. In addition, the MIC will serve as the gateway to the Latam region.
“The Microsoft Innovation Center in Miami has all of the leading-edge tools and technologies needed to motivate our citizens to innovate and grow,” said Carlos Gimenez, mayor of Miami-Dade County. “With all of the training services and engagement opportunities available, the facility will undoubtedly help Miami further transform into a 21st century city.”
This facility will be the first of a series of new Microsoft Innovation Centers to be established across the US, and will also serve as the flagship technology centre connecting Miami to key communities in the Latam region.
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