Microsoft plans €2B investment in AI and cloud infrastructure in Spain

Microsoft plans to quadruple its investments in artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud infrastructure in Spain, spending €1.95 billion ($2.1 billion) there in the next two years as part of CEO Satya Nadella’s commitment to promote digital innovation and the responsible use of AI. 

Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, met with Pedro Sánchez, President of the Spanish government, to present what is the company’s largest investment in Spain in its almost four decades of presence in the country.

Smith is touring European nations to talk up Microsoft’s investments in the continent. Last week, he announced a plan to invest €3.2 billion in Germany on AI and data center infrastructure over two years.

Microsoft will soon open a cloud region of data centers near Madrid, and has announced its intention to build a data center campus in Aragon that will serve European companies and public entities. These two infrastructures will help Microsoft’s cloud services guarantee security, privacy, and data sovereignty, and make the company’s entire range of AI solutions available to companies and public administrations.

According to an IDC analysis, Microsoft’s data centers in Spain could add up to €8.4 billion to the country’s GDP and contribute to the creation of 69,000 indirect jobs over the period 2026-2030.

A strategic alliance

The investment commitment is part of the framework of collaboration announced by Sánchez and Smith. Both parties will work together on the application of responsible AI to enhance citizen services, on the promotion of AI-based innovation, and on the reinforcement of national cybersecurity and the cyber-resilience of Spanish companies, public bodies, and critical infrastructure.

The strategic alliance has been defined under Spain’s national AI strategy and national cybersecurity strategy, and is based on four fundamental axes: extending the use of AI in the administration; promoting responsible AI; strengthening national cybersecurity; and, finally, improving the cyber-resilience of companies.

They will share best practices with the aim of modernizing administrative processes and providing civil servants with the necessary AI tools to increase their efficiency and effectiveness, On the administration’s side, this will cover the deployment of generative AI solutions, and plans for training civil servants in the use of AI. Meanwhile, Microsoft will share its responsible AI design standards, implementation guides, and additional documentation on best practices in this area with the Spanish Agency for the Supervision of Artificial Intelligence (AESIA).

In addition, with the aim of strengthening national cybersecurity and, specifically, the cyber resilience of critical infrastructures, Microsoft and the National Cryptologic Center of the National Intelligence Center (CNI-CCN) will jointly explore the improvement of early warning and response mechanisms to computer security incidents in public administrations. The technology company will also collaborate with the National Cybersecurity Institute (INCIBE), offering access to telemetry and global information on potential threats and cyberattacks that may affect Spanish companies and public institutions. Joint dissemination actions in the field of cybersecurity will also be established, aimed at SMEs and citizens.

Copyright © 2024 IDG Communications, Inc.


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