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Microsoft Research Montreal Moves to Montreal AI hub

September 19, 2018

Microsoft Research Montreal announced today that it is relocating its office to Mile-Ex, Montreal’s new AI Hub. Since the start of 2017, the Microsoft Research Montreal lab has played a fundamental role in research that aims to teach machines to read, think and communicate like humans. The state-of-the-art research lab has been steadily building its presence in Montreal, one of the bases of Canada’s AI research corridor. Today’s announcement reinforces Microsoft’s plans to continue to grow its research and engineering teams in Montreal over the next couple of years.

Located at 6795 Marconi, the new lab, expected to open in Fall 2019, will be steps away from the new Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA) and other AI research labs in the community.

“We chose to build a Microsoft Research lab in Montreal because we wanted to be a part of the thriving research and academic community in Montreal and Throughout Canada, said Jennifer Chayes, Technical Fellow and Managing Director, Microsoft Research New England & New York City and Montreal. “With the support of the world-class local talent, our growth has outpaced our expectations. By continuing to invest in the region, we are helping build a stronger research ecosystem, one that employs great local people, and brings new talent to the area.”

Yoshua Bengio, the Scientific Director at MILA, welcomes Microsoft Research to the Mile-Ex. The research lab will be located across the street from the new MILA research lab and office in Mile-Ex. “I am delighted to see Microsoft Research Montreal join Montreal’s new AI hub in the Mile-Ex around MILA. This is good for the AI ecosystem and for collaborations between all its actors. With two of Microsoft’s researchers also being adjunct professors at Université de Montréal and McGill University, this relocation and proximity to MILA will help facilitate their supervision of MILA graduate students, something very important to the growth of Montreal’s talent pool.”

Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development welcomed the growth announcement. “‎By committing to recruit top talent from our local universities and universities around the world, Microsoft Research has given students the opportunity they need to excel in the good jobs of today and tomorrow. The Microsoft Research Montreal lab’s growth and new footprint will advance Montreal’s well-earned reputation as an AI hub, and will promote development and investment in the research community across Canada.”

The new space will triple Microsoft Research’s physical footprint in Montreal and further demonstrates Microsoft Research’s dedication to building a strong, world-class research ecosystem in Canada. Occupying 31,610 square feet the lab will occupy the entire fourth floor, and a large portion of the third floor. Additionally, the lab will have exclusive access to a terrace on the fourth-floor roof top of the building. Relocating the research lab creates a two-prong real estate strategy in Montreal for Microsoft.   While Microsoft Research Montreal will be relocating, Microsoft’s sales office will remain in the central business district of downtown Montreal.

Canderel, one of Canada’s foremost real estate development, investment and management companies, is leading the development at 6795 Marconi. Bradley Birks, Vice-President, Leasing, Canderel, commented “Canderel and our partner, Claridge, are thrilled to welcome Microsoft Research as the anchor and lead tenant at 6795 Marconi. We feel privileged to be associated with a company as prominent as Microsoft and look forward to working closely together to create a unique research facility for their team.”

“The fundamental principle in designing this project was to be at the forefront of creating a new office environment in one of Montreal’s most vibrant neighbourhoods. The relocation of Microsoft Research to 6795 Marconi confirms the project’s significance as the preeminent office complex in the global hub for artificial intelligence research, Montreal’s Mile-Ex” said Eric Cordon, Associate, Development, Canderel.

Montréal International, which has been at the forefront of accelerating the success of the research labs in Montreal, celebrated the news. “Microsoft Research’s expansion reinforces Montreal’s unique position and reputation as a global leader in the field of artificial intelligence. Their work with faculties, students, and the broader academic community highlights the city’s international reach and the strengths of a business ecosystem that is firmly focused on collaboration, research and innovation”, said Hubert Bolduc, President and CEO of Montreal International. “We are excited to support them and contribute to the global recognition of our region!”

The Mayor of Montreal, Valerie Plante also welcomed the news of the relocation and growth of the Montreal research lab news. “Microsoft’s decision to expand its Montreal research lab in the heart of the new AI hub in the Mile-Ex reaffirms the city’s emerging position as a global leader in artificial intelligence. I am proud to see Montreal’s research and academic community support each other and boast complementary strengths,” said Valerie Plante, Mayor of Montreal. “Montreal is a vibrant and creative city with well-known academic institutions and some of the highest standards in quality of life allowing us to attract the best talent around the world. I am glad to see Microsoft Research play a greater role in this aspect.”

About Microsoft Research Montreal
The Microsoft Research Montreal lab plays a fundamental role in the state-of-the art research that aims to teach machines to read, think and communicate like humans. Located in Montreal, one of the fastest growing AI communities in the world, the lab fosters open collaborations with partners throughout industry and academic institutions in the city and around the world.