Alibaba Damo Academy to run $15 billion global research program

Alibaba Group has launched a global research program, Alibaba Damo Academy, “Damo” standing for discovery, adventure, momentum and outlook.

It designed to increase technological collaboration worldwide, advance the development of technology and make the world more inclusive by narrowing the technology gap.

Alibaba expects to invest more than US$15 billion in research and development over the next three years, and the academy will oversee the opening of labs worldwide and seek to recruit 100 talented scientists and researchers.

Headed by Alibaba Group’s chief technology officer, Jeff Zhang, the academy will first focus on opening seven research labs – in China (Beijing and Hangzhou), Singapore, Israel, Russia and the US (two).

The labs will concentrate on both foundational and disruptive technology research including data intelligence, internet of things (IoT), fintech, quantum computing and human-machine interaction. Those broad research areas will include topics such as machine learning, network security, visual computing and natural language processing (NLP).

It is also intended the Damo labs will collaborate with technology and education experts to explore breakthroughs aimed at improving the lives of technology end-users and boosting the efficiency and security of enterprises globally.

“Over the past 18 years we have developed a robust technology infrastructure that supports the rapid growth of our business,” says Zhang. “With our global expansion, we have grown and refined our technology manifold. We are now looking for talented and driven researchers to join us in the quest for new disruptive technologies.”

The academy is Alibaba’s first major global initiative that will enable it to fulfill its commitment to serve 2 billion customers and create 100 million job opportunities in 20 years. Alibaba now has around 25,000 engineers and scientists on its staff.

* Photo courtesy: Alizila.

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