Microsoft Canada Excellence Centre opens in Vancouver
On June 17, Microsoft officially opened the Microsoft Canada Excellence Centre (MCEC) above Pacific Centre in downtown Vancouver. The Microsoft Canada Excellence Centre is a state of the art development facility that will create innovative products and attract technology talents to British Columbia. The 142,000 square foot space is designed by architect Clive Wilkinson, which features floor-to-ceiling views of the city and north shore mountains, two 150 person multi-purpose community rooms, and open and closed collaboration spaces and Maker’s Garage.
MCEC is hiring with 450 new development jobs. Microsoft Canada will inject $90 million in direct investment in the city annually. Across the province, it will have an estimated economic impact of $180 million each year. The MCEC will developed new technologies and applications ranging from apps (Skype, OneNote, MSN) to gaming products (Gears of War), interactive television app (NFL for Xbox and Windows 10), mixed reality (Microsoft HoloLens) and ground-breaking accessibility products (Seeing AI).
Brad Smith, Microsoft President, was joined by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier of British Columbia, Christy Clark & Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson to celebrate the grand opening of Microsoft Canada Excellence Centre.
“Vancouver is becoming a global centre for technology, and we’re committed to helping grow Canada’s innovation economy.” said Microsoft President, Brad Smith. “Our new development centre will bring talented Canadians together with leading talent from around the world to help develop the technologies of tomorrow.”
“There is no better time to invest in Canada,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “I welcome Microsoft’s decision to add as many as 450 new development jobs to their Vancouver operations – it is a real vote of confidence in the community, and in the talent and expertise of Canadian workers.”
“The centre will serve as yet another gateway between British Columbia and the world.” said the Hon. Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia. This is further evidence of the talent and potential that Vancouver and the B.C.’s thriving tech sector have to offer, and we’re pleased that Microsoft has made such a strong commitment to the future of innovation in this province.”
“It’s no coincidence that Vancouver’s nation-leading economy is also the home to world-class tech talent filling 75,000 technology jobs with another 15,000 expected in the next three years,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Vancouver’s diverse and entrepreneurial tech ecosystem is a big draw to leading global companies like Microsoft who, time and time again, choose Vancouver as a centre of innovation and excellence.”
“Technology is driven forward by the best and brightest. The diverse makeup of the people of this city, and this country, are a significant advantage,” said Edoardo De Martin, Director of Microsoft Canada Excellence Centre. “Our goal is to bring dynamic local talent, both senior and developing, together with the best and brightest from around the world to make Canada a leader in innovation.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier of British Columbia, Christy Clark & Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson toured the Microsoft Canada Excellence Centre.
The Seeing AI is research project that help the visually impaired. It uses computer vision and natural language processing to describe a person’s surroundings, read text, answer questions and even identify emotions on people’s faces. It can be used as a cell phone app or via smart glasses from Pivothead.