Microsoft and NDRC launch ‘cloud college’ for start-ups

6 Oct 2009

The National Digital Research Centre (NDRC) has partnered with Microsoft’s BizSpark programme to provide a free series of technical seminars to start-ups detailing cloud computing and its benefits.

Kicking off on 22 October in the Digital Exchange, Dublin, at 2pm, the seminar series specifically focuses on the Windows Azure platform and aims to show start-up companies how they can quickly develop innovative apps in the cloud for testing new business and operating models without a large up-front investment.

The Azure Academy for Cloud Computing follows Microsoft’s new Dublin-based 303,000 sq-foot, US$500-million data centre, which will make Ireland the European cloud hub for its online services, including Bing, Windows Live and Office Online.

“Successful indigenous companies will be at the heart of Ireland’s economic recovery and will be critical to helping ensure that we realise the vision of becoming a Smart Economy,” said Paul Rellis, managing director of Microsoft Ireland and member of NDRC’s board.

“It is really important that we provide the support that we can to the start-up community to assist them in their efforts to create Ireland’s companies of the future.

“BizSpark offers these companies a wide range of supports and we are delighted to partner with NDRC to broaden the range of supports even further through the launch of the Azure Academy.”
Ben Hurley, CEO of NDRC, added: “NDRC is delighted to be collaborating with Microsoft BizSpark on this programme.”

Recently the NDRC launched three new programmes, along with an open call for proposals, and those in the technology space are being encouraged to submit an application by 30 October, with a view to develop a small-scale project to produce commercially focused web and mobile applications.

“As we embark on a new phase of investment into projects with both research and businesses partners, the cloud is becoming an increasingly important platform for innovative new applications,” said Hurley.

“The Azure Academy will support existing NDRC collaborators and new start-ups to understand the benefits to them of ICT virtual services and cloud computing.”

By Marie Boran

Photo: The Azure Academy for Cloud Computing will focus on the Windows Azure platform. This seminar series for start-ups begins 22 October at the Digital Exchange in Dublin.