Data is the new Oil and A.I. will be the vehicle that harnesses this new oil. But who will build this new, futuristic data harnessing A.I. technology ? An A.I.-ready workforce, and Microsoft wants to be a front-runner in training this new workforce and ultimately perhaps employing them.

And a step towards that is Microsoft’s new “Intelligent Cloud Hub” program for Indian educational institutions. Meant for STEM, medical management and research institutions, the company’s Cloud Hub program is designed to empower faculties to impart future-ready skills to students. The program will also help drive disruptive innovations in research through AI.

India is the first country to roll it out and Microsoft has invited participation from deemed universities and NIRF ranked institutions across the country. A 3-year collaborative program, the Intelligent Cloud Hub aims to support 100 institutions in the first three years.

We need to ramp up the institutional set-up and build capability among educators to equip the workforce of tomorrow. The Microsoft Intelligent Cloud Hub Program aims to catalyze this with technology insights, cognitive skills, and a practical, in-depth understanding of developing intelligent connected solutions for application across industry and citizenship scenarios.

said Manish Prakash, Country General Manager-PS, Health and Education, Microsoft India

And the program isn’t just about curriculum and training. Microsoft will also develop infrastructure in these selected campus in order to impart this training. Since A.I. obviously requires a more specialised environment, the Redmond-based internet giant has taken it upon itself to build the required infra.

Microsoft will set up the core AI infrastructure and an IOT Hub for all selected campuses. The company will also offer a wide range of AI developmental tools and Azure AI Services such as Microsoft Cognitive Services, Azure Machine Learning and Bot Services. Training will include development workshops to help both the faculty and students build their skills and expertise in cloud computing, data sciences, AI and IoT. Additionally, it will assist faculty in strategizing content and curricula for project-based and experiential learning.

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