Microsoft and the invisible bonanza

The much hailed jobs boost for UK electronics anticipated from Microsoft’s £50m investment in a new research laboratory in Cambridge has had a slow start. Opened last June, the laboratory, together with Microsoft’s £5m investment in a local venture capital company, was expected to attract smaller software companies to the area. Only 14 of the […]

The much hailed jobs boost for UK electronics anticipated from Microsoft’s £50m investment in a new research laboratory in Cambridge has had a slow start.

Opened last June, the laboratory, together with Microsoft’s £5m investment in a local venture capital company, was expected to attract smaller software companies to the area.

Only 14 of the laboratory’s planned 40 jobs have been filled, and funding has been provided for two companies including £500,000 to computer animation software company ART.

A further 150 business plans are under review, said Anne Glover, managing director of the venture capital fund, Amadeus Capital Partners. Most of these are established UK companies which may be enticed to Cambridge by the recruitment opportunities and infrastructure, said Glover.

Microsoft is one of 10 investors in Amadeus, which specialises in providing early stage finance (£500,000 £3m) to companies involved in information technology.

Roger Needham, director of Microsoft’s Cambridge laboratory, said he expected to fill all 40 posts by the middle of next year.

Projects undertaken at the laboratory include research into network performance, programme language and theory, and network maps. Results will be passed to Microsoft.