Zhejiang & Tsinghua Uni Establish Joint Labs with Alibaba
In addition to setting up its DAMO Academy(set up in late 2017), Alibaba has recently established strategic partnerships with two top Chinese universities: Tsinghua Universityand Zhejiang University.
The Alibaba-Tsinghua lab aims to resolve issues of interactions between “humans, machines and the environment”. The joint-lab at Zhejiang University focuses on intelligent cloud solutions to accelerate the adaptation of technology in education and the commercialization of research outcomes.
With 500m active users per month, only 20% of Alibaba’s business is E-commerce. The founder, Mr Jack Ma, positioned Alibaba as a “data driven” business in 2008 and has promised USD 15 billion (RMB 100 billion) investment into R&D by setting up the DAMO Academy (Discovery, Adventure, Momentum and Outlook). This is a program to set up 7 R&D labs worldwide that focus on “foundational and disruptive technology research” in areas such as data intelligence, natural-language processing, quantum computing, and machine learning.
DAMO is aiming to surpass the influence of Intel’s, Microsoft’s and IBM’s institutes and has formed a senior advisory committee including scientists Michael I. Jordon and George M. Church, global leaders in AI and human genetics, respectively. DAMO plans to attract 100 top scientists to work in its global data research centres.
Alibaba invested RMB 17 billion (USD 2.7 billion) in R&D in 2017, ahead of Baidu,Tencent and Jingdong.