Microsoft invests €4 billion to drive AI growth in France

Microsoft invests €4 billion to drive AI growth in France


From left: French president Emmanuel Macron and Microsoft CEO Brad Smith at the French Microsoft headquarters

Money will be spent on developing cloud and AI infrastructure, delivering AI training and supporting 2,500 French AI startups

Alice Chambers |

Microsoft is investing €4 billion ($4.3 billion) to expand its artificial intelligence and cloud infrastructure in France, deliver AI training to one million people and support 2,500 French startups.

First, Microsoft will supply up to 25,000 graphics processing units to expand its data centre sites in the Paris and Marseille regions by the end of 2025. New data centre facilities will also be built in the Grand Est Region in Mulhouse to provide Microsoft cloud and AI services to private and public sector organisations in these areas.

“With this major project, the Grand Est region is making Alsace a benchmark region for AI in France and Europe,” said Franck Leroy, president of the Grand Est Region Council. “This unique project, benefiting from a technological first, will strengthen the competitiveness of our regions and businesses, while guaranteeing the security of their data. It is also a major project of national and European interest.” 

As part of these data centre expansions, Microsoft is pursuing its first renewable energy contracts in France.

“We expect to have approximately 100 megawatts of new renewable energy projects online in France by the end of 2024,” said Microsoft in a press release.

Microsoft’s investment is also expected to contribute to training one million French people with AI skills by the end of 2027. These training programmes will be run by Microsoft, its partners, government institutions, non-profit organisations and higher education providers.

Plus, Microsoft will provide AI support to 2,500 French startups by 2027 through its new initiative, Microsoft GenAI Studio. This programme will provide AI expertise, cloud credits and involve Microsoft collaborating with customers and partners.

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