Microsoft set out plans to invest $500 million to expand its footprint in Canada by upgrading its regional cloud and AI infrastructure, alongside the launch of training initiatives.

The technology giant stated the cash boost will target Quebec, a province Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Francois Philippe Champagne stated is at the forefront of global innovation on AI.

Microsoft explained the sum will be used to expand its digital infrastructure and computing capacity in Quebec, a plan it hopes will “accelerate the pace of AI innovation” and enable local organisations “to further build on the significant capacity already in place.

The company noted it will start building multiple data centres in the coming months, facilities it promised will use low-carbon materials, renewable energy and other green tech in keeping with its sustainability pledges. 

Further, it highlighted the launch of training schemes around generative AI and cybersecurity through a partnership with tax and auditing company KPMG Canada, “representing a $1.7 million investment over the next three years” with an initial goal of training more than 11,000 executives to “help businesses and governments build cybersecurity protections, navigate the opportunities and challenges of generative AI, and implement it responsibly”. 

There is also digital training and career development training on the agenda, intended to prepare “job-seekers with essential skills for digitally-enabled careers”.