Enabling Future Smart Cities to Flourish


In this Project Syndicate’s article entitled “Life in the Uber City“, MIT’s Senseable City Lab researchers encourage policymakers to direct resources towards supporting “a bottom-up” ecosystem to make smart cities a reality and also to nurture “the regulatory frameworks” which creates the urban space to allow innovations to thrive.

On one hand, I agree with their call to enable a more conducive regulatory environment for smart city innovations like Uber, Nest and Airbnb to flourish, but I also believe that technology multinationals programmes such like Microsoft CityNext and IBM Smarter Planet should not be avoided. These multinationals play a very important role to support the larger local technology economy and provide important institutional knowledge and best practices to make such smart cities innovations truly scale up beyond district level and spread the benefits across the entire city.

Therefore, policymakers should not be forced to go one way over the other but keep an open mind about technology, and focus their effort on developing a regulatory environment which supports all innovation from both sides – start-ups or multinationals, to thrive, and that’s a really smart choice.



Microsoft Research Asia’s Role in China’s High Tech Human Capital Development

Last week, Zhou Minliang, a Research Fellow from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences wrote an complimentary article about Microsoft Research Asia’s role in the development of China’s R&D capabilities. The article (微软亚洲研究院带给我们什么 – literally What has Microsoft Research Asia brought us) appeared in China’s Scientific Times (科学时报).

In the article, Mingliang applauded lab’s advancement computing and Bill Gate’s decision to open the lab in China. The lab’s creation has developed deep inroads to the Chinese’s psyche and brought upon great sense of pride and self-belief. He also described the lab’s dynamic and open environment as the key that foster creativity among its researchers in the midst of China’s transformation to a knowledge based economy.



Microsoft to build $280m R&D center in Beijing, China


Microsoft continues expanding it’s research and development capabilities in China with the annoucement of a new $280 million centre in Beijing.


Software giant Microsoft yesterday said it will invest $280 million to build a research and development center in Beijing and significantly expand its research team in the country.

The new R&D campus, set to accommodate 5,000 employees, will become Microsoft’s largest research center outside the United States when it is completed in 2010, said Zhang Yaqin, the company’s China chairman.

Microsoft currently has 3,000 research staff in the country, with 1,500 full-time employees and another 1,500 working on a project basis, Dow Jones has reported. The company has said it will double the number of its full-time research employees in China to 3,000 in the next three years.

Source: Microsoft to build $280m R&D center in Beijing (People’s Daily Online)