Microsoft is in talks with Nova Southeastern University (NSU) in Davie, Florida to be the home of a Microsoft Innovation Center (MIC). Thus far, there are approximately 100 MICs worldwide in countries including, but not limited to: Armenia, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, India, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and Thailand. South Florida (Davie) is one of the first locations being considered in the United States.
MICs are state of the art technology facilities for collaboration on innovation research, technology and software solutions. They offer a comprehensive set of programs and services to foster innovation and growth and they connect people and organizations in the software ecosystem by giving them access to resources experts and facilities for collaboration and skills development. Those resources are open to students, entrepreneurs, academics, professional software developers, startups, IT professionals, industry organizations and local governments.
Some of the programs offered are:
• BizSpark - which offers startup companies free access to Microsoft products for the first three years. After a startup achieves 1 million (USD) in revenues, Microsoft charges a licensing fee.
• Industry Cluster – an activity where different software companies form a group of common interest to work on a specific idea or concept.
• Technical Trainee – an internship where students participate in training activities and project execution.
• Student to Business – a job recruitment program providing students with training, testing and certification. At the end of the program students are matched with local companies for job interviews.
With respect to the potential center at NSU, Bradley Jensen, principal academic relationship manager for Microsoft has indicated, “The center will create a synergistic environment, a place where resources from Microsoft and from the community will come together. It will have Microsoft branding, but will interact with government, startup companies, academics and the community.”
James Parrish, assistant professor of information technology at NSU said the program would be a valuable asset and catalyst for NSU and the South Florida region.
The potential partnership would certainly be an achievement for NSU and the academic field in addition to being a positive technology driver for the South Florida business community.
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