Microsoft has announced an investment of $3.1 billion to expand its cloud computing and artificial intelligence infrastructure in Australia through 2025.
The company said the digital investment will enable Australia to deploy AI technologies to fortify its economic competitiveness, generate highly skilled jobs and safeguard the country from evolving cyberthreats.
Microsoft Vice Chairman and President Brad Smith called the investment as the biggest in the organization’s four decades of operations in Australia.
The tech giant will complement the initiative by equipping the country with advanced AI and engineering capabilities to bolster its cybersecurity measures, Smith said.
According to Microsoft, the project will establish nine additional data centers throughout Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney, expanding from the company’s existing 20 data processing locations.
The software maker will also collaborate with TAFE NSW, a local vocational education and training provider, to build a Microsoft Datacentre Academy in Australia.
Additionally, the company will partner with the Australian Signals Directorate to develop customized and advanced cybersecurity solutions under the Microsoft-Australian Signals Directorate Cyber Shield project.
The program aims to deliver better cyber protection products and services for Australian residents, businesses and government agencies.
Under the investment initiative, Microsoft will also extend its global skills programs to train over 300,000 Australians for career advancement in the country’s cloud and AI-enabled economy.
In a statement welcoming the technology investment, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said that Microsoft’s plans will affirm Australia’s status as a major global economy.