Microsoft to open R&D hub in Athens

Microsoft will create a robotic process automation (RPA) development center in Athens, spokesman Charles Lamanna said last week in a teleconference with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis following the information technology giant’s recent acquisition of Greek-owned software company Softomotive.

“Our goal and plan is to have an RPA development hub inside of Greece, in Athens, seeded with the Softomotive team there,” Lamanna told the teleconference, which also saw the participation of the founders of Softomotive, fellow Greek company Think Silicon and the US giant Applied Materials that acquired it last month.

Lamanna made no secret of his company’s excitement about Microsoft’s arrival in Greece: “That’s a big step for Microsoft. This is the first real research and development presence we’ll have in the country. The fact that’s coming from Softomotive gives us all the more confidence that we’re going to be successful,” he said at the teleconference, where Endeavor Greece was also represented.

“We’re really looking forward to the next couple of years. With [Softomotive founder] Marios [Stavropoulos] we have a pretty ambitious two-year plan to work together on. We both think that having the presence there with the human capital, with the human resources already in the country will be very valuable for Microsoft,” said Lamanna.

The acquisition of London-based Softomotive by Microsoft, announced late last month, is the biggest acquisition of a Greek-owned technology company to date, with the price reportedly being well above 100 million euros.

Founded in 2005, Softomotive is today considered a pioneer in RPA: This is one of the technological sectors currently enjoying the greatest demand and which concerns software used for the automation of processes a computer user executes repeatedly.

Kathimerini understands one of the reasons the government is offering incentives to those investing in research and development is to attract such hubs to Greece, as they create many jobs for researchers.

For now discussions about Microsoft’s RPA development hub are still in the early stages, but sources say that after the acquisition of Think Silicon, the Nasdaq-listed Applied Materials group is planning to expand its network in Athens and Thessaloniki, and it might also create an R&D center in Greece in the future.

Source: Ekathimerini.com

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