Alibaba to invest $15b in R&D through new global program

  • Alibaba to invest $15b in R&D through new global program

Alibaba to invest $15b in R&D through new global program

Along with an existing data science research lab in California, Alibaba has opened new data centers in Europe, the United States, the Middle East, Australia, Japan, India and Indonesia since 2016, in a bid to boost its cloud business.

Zhang will head the academy overseeing the worldwide R&D labs, which will be called DAMO - Academy of Discovery, Adventure, Momentum and Outlook.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Alibaba Chief Technical Officer Jeff Zhang said the new labs will go a long way to "help solve issues that Alibaba is now facing across its business lines".

HANGZHOU-Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. says it will almost triple spending on research and development, to more than $15 billion over the next three years, as it seeks to keep pace with Western rivals such as Alphabet Inc. and Inc.

The labs will focus on research areas such as data intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), fintech, quantum computing, and human-machine interaction. "It will also be at the forefront of developing next-generation technology". It is meant to increase technological collaboration worldwide, advance the development of cutting-edge technology and strive to make the world more inclusive by narrowing the technology gap. Within those broad research areas, the labs will focus on topics such as machine learning, network security, visual computing, Natural Language Processing (NLP), etc. Funding for the academy comes as part of a larger $15 billion push into R&D that Alibaba has planned for the next three years. DAMO Academy's current advisory board also includes professors from Princeton, Harvard, MIT, the University of Washington, Columbia University, Beijing Institute of Technology, Peking University and Zhejiang University. "We aim to discover breakthrough technologies that will enable greater efficiency, network security and ecosystem synergy for end-users and businesses everywhere". Now the e-commerce giant has 25,000 engineers and scientists on its staff and hopes to create 100m job opportunities within the next two decades.