NEWS13 October 2017

Alibaba invests $15bn in research labs

Asia Pacific Innovations Mobile News Technology

CHINA – Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has announced the launch of a global research lab to explore disruptive technologies.

Alibaba stock exchange_crop

The company’s planned $15bn investment in research and development over the next three years will focus on subjects such as human-machine interaction, fintech and quantum computing.

Dubbed ‘DAMO Academy’ – standing for ‘Discovery, Adventure, Momentum and Outlook’, according to the company – the labs will open in seven locations globally, across China, the United States, Russia, Israel and Singapore.

The programme will be headed by Alibaba Group chief technology officer Jeff Zhang.

Alibaba plans to recruit 100 researchers and scientists globally to join the project, and has also brought on board researchers from academic institutions including Princeton, Berkeley and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as advisers.

Jeff Zhang said: “We aim to discover breakthrough technologies that will enable greater efficiency, network security and ecosystem synergy for end-users and businesses everywhere.

“We are now looking for talented and driven researchers to join us in the quest for new disruptive technologies that would advance our every-day lives, benefit small businesses and narrow the technology gap to make our world a more inclusive place.”

The move marks a significant increase in Alibaba’s investment in R&D, reflecting the company’s need to keep up with Amazon and other global players in the development of industry-changing technologies.