The acclaimed Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba, scarcely announced its decision of investing billions in a global research and development program. The firm plans to invest more than USD 15 billion in the coming three years to increase the frequency of strategic collaborations and new technological innovation through this program. Reportedly, this amount is far more than Alibaba’s investment in R&D activities between 2014 and Q1 2017. Alibaba’s officials have declared that the advisory board members of the research program will comprise educators and researchers from some of the top universities. In order to carry out research, the company would also liaison with educational institutes such as MIT, University of California, and Berkeley. The labs at these research institutes would apparently be utilized to work on projects spanning a multitude of disciplines – the Internet of Things, data intelligence, quantum computing, financial technologies, human-machine interaction, inclusive of natural language processing and machine learning.
Alibaba’s initiative to invest in the research and development program would help the retail industry giant accomplish its long-term goal of serving 2 billion customers and generating 100 million new jobs in the coming 20 years. The program has tentatively been titled ‘Discovery, Adventure, Momentum, and Outlook (DAMO)’. Alibaba’s Chief Technology Officer, Jeff Zhang, was quoted stating that the innovation of next-generation technologies will contribute significantly toward Alibaba’s growth worldwide.
Alibaba, as a company, has also been aiming to convince talented and ambitious researchers to join their program, which would enhance the technical expertise of the program. Speaking along the same lines, Alibaba is also planning to establish seven new research laboratories in Hangzhou, Beijing, Tel Aviv, San Mateo, Singapore, Moscow, and Bellevue.
Apart from Alibaba, other renowned technical giants in China such as Tencent and Baidu have also established R&D labs across the globe to introduce advanced technologies.