Microsoft has launched a $20m (£14m) start-up hub in London which it says will connect tech start-ups with its UK partner base.
The facility in London, dubbed The Reactor, was launched yesterday by Microsoft UK CEO Cindy Rose (pictured, right) and digital minister Margot James (pictured, left).
Rose said: "[The reactor] is a reflection of the enduring commitment to the UK as a destination for digital innovation, and the importance that we place on nurturing and developing start-up talent in the UK, which we know is Europe's hotspot for technology innovation.
"This space is specially designed and located in the heart of Shoreditch to help us connect better with the technology start-up and scale-up community; offer access to Microsoft's technology, platform and tools; and connect [businesses] with our enterprise customers and partners."
The facility, which will see $20m invested over 10 years - will offer free office space for start-ups and give them access to Microsoft's partners and products.
Microsoft has opened similar schemes in the US, with the London base the first in Europe. Further hubs are planned for Australia and Europe.
Rose also said that Microsoft will sign up to the government's Tech Talent Charter, which aims to develop skilled IT professionals in the UK, specifically female workers.
MP Margot James said: "Microsoft is an excellent corporate citizen and [is] doing so much for start-ups. To know [Microsoft is] backing the charter is just brilliant.
"We have a specific problem [with the number of women] in the technology sector, because in general you need science qualifications and girls are attracted to science A-Levels in far lower numbers than boys are.
"We have to change that, but there's no quick fix. The charter is designed to get girls to look favourably on careers in technology and have the confidence to go for it, as well as boosting digital awareness in schools in ways that girls will be attracted to."
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