Microsoft to open research lab in Amsterdam

Microsoft is opening a new research lab in Amsterdam headed by Max Welling, one of the world’s leading researchers in machine learning.

Opening in September 2021 and in collaboration with researchers in Cambridge, UK, and Beijing, China, the lab will be focused on molecular simulation using machine learning. 

Molecular simulation allows researchers to see deep inside organisms, understand molecules and predict their properties. Machine learning can improve and speed up this process. 

One potential application of this is designing better catalysts for green energy. For example, it costs a lot of electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. A catalyst can reduce the amount of energy needed for that process, making it more efficient and boosting the possibility of using water as a battery, to produce clean hydrogen.

Welling is a professor and Director of Machine Learning at the University of Amsterdam. His scientific research in machine learning has already translated to societal impact through his Amsterdam-founded startup Scyfer, and then at Qualcomm. The firm implements AI on end devices such as smartphones, cars, and robotics, making processes more energy efficient.

He said he was “super excited” about the Microsoft lab, adding recent advances in machine learning and the increasing amount of computing power could amount to significant progress over the next decade. 

Strengthening Amsterdam’s AI ecosystem

Considered one of the most AI-ready cities in the world, Amsterdam is an effective ‘living lab’ for AI solutions. Through programmes such as AI Technology for People, it is committed to developing and deploying AI with a positive impact on society.

The city’s dense business ecosystem, renowned academic institutions, and long tradition of public-private collaborations makes it an ideal location to adopt AI technology across various sectors, such as life sciences and health or smart mobility.

Read more business news from around Amsterdam.