Microsoft pours $2B into AI infrastructure development in Spain

Microsoft has announced yet another major investment into Europe with a $2.1 billion commitment to expand its artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud infrastructure in Spain.

Brad Smith, the company’s vice chair and president, posted on the social media platform X after a meeting with the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, that the company will be fulfilling its investment in Spain over the next two years.

Smith said it’s not just about building data centers, but committing to helping develop the country’s “security, and development and digital transformation of its government, businesses, and people.”

According to the Microsoft president, the company has been investing in Spain for 37 years. In September 2021, the firm announced a new R&D hub for AI technologies based in Barcelona, Spain.

At the time, Alberto Granados, the president of Microsoft Spain, said Microsoft’s investment was “proof” of Spain’s talent in the digital sector.

This investment comes on the heels of another investment Microsoft made into Europe on Feb. 15 with $3 billion euros going into developing Germany’s AI ecosystem.

Similar to its plans in Spain, over the next two years Microsoft has pledged to invest the funds to boost German AI infrastructure, build new data centers and train people in developing AI skills.

A larger trend is at play, with Big Tech companies piling into Europe with AI development-related investments as the European Union is about to put its landmark EU AI Act legislation into place.

On the same day Microsoft announced its investment in Germany, the Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty of France and Google announced plans to set up a new AI-dedicated hub in Paris, which will house nearly 300 researchers and engineers to support the country’s AI ambitions.

Two days prior, Google announced its “AI Opportunity Initiative for Europe,” through which it said it would be investing 25 million euros ($26.9 million) on skills training for Europeans in the AI sector.

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