Microsoft invests €4bn in France’s AI and cloud tech

French President Emmanuel Macron and Brad Smith of Microsoft

Microsoft announced it will invest €4 billion in France in cloud and AI infrastructure, AI skilling and French tech acceleration, aiming to train one million people and support 2,500 AI startups by 2027.

This is the firm’s largest ever investment to date in France

“This broad investment package is designed to accelerate the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud technologies, increase the country’s competitiveness by fostering digital technology made in France and create long-term benefits for the French economy and job market,” said Microsoft in a statement during the Choose France summit.

“With these investments, Microsoft is directly contributing to France’s National Strategy for AI and aligns with the recent recommendations of the French Commission for Artificial Intelligence, to position France as a leader in the development and usage of artificial intelligence.”

Microsoft Vice Chair & President Brad Smith said: “This major investment demonstrates a steadfast commitment to supporting digital innovation and economic growth in France.

“We are building state-of-the-art Cloud and AI infrastructure, training people with AI skills, and supporting French startups as they use our technology with confidence to grow in a fair and responsible way.”

Microsoft said its cloud and AI infrastructure in France will operate under the company’s recently published AI Access Principles.

“These principles aim to foster innovation and healthy competition within the rapidly growing AI economy,” said Microsoft.

“They reflect Microsoft’s expanding role and responsibility as a leader in AI and commit the company to making investments, forging business partnerships, and creating programs that ensure broad access to its AI technology that empower organizations and individuals to develop and use AI in ways that will serve the public good.”