Greece’s state agency Enterprise Greece has given approval on Monday to fast-track a 100 million euros ($110 million) Microsoft investment project for three data centers in the country.
The data centers will be located at Spata and Koropi in the Attica region and provide technical business support and cloud computing services to Greece. It is also expected to create 300 new jobs over the next ten years.
Data centers are used to store, process, and share large amounts of data to users while cloud computing refers to the provision of computing resources via the Internet (e.g. servers, apps) through the use of central systems located far out of reach of the final user. Automated processes enable systems to reach users in order to provide a variety of services and connection flexibility.
Microsoft has been operating in Greece since 1992 and maintains about 200 data centers in 34 countries, interconnected with more than 165,000 miles of submarine, land, and metropolitan areas of fiber optics. Microsoft Cloud already serves at least one billion customers and 20 million companies worldwide.
“The implementation of this investment is of great importance for the Greek economy as it expands the country’s information and communication technologies sector and capabilities, and confirms that the Greek ICT industry offers unique opportunities for investment in value-added services with a global reach,” Ioannis Smyrlis of Enterprise Greece says.
“An investment in a data center in any country, by a technology giant such as Microsoft, automatically upgrades the country as an investment destination,” he adds.
The biggest investment of Microsoft in Greece
Announcing the investment in Greece in 2020, Microsoft President Brad Smith said: “It is an important day for Greece,” adding that this is “the biggest investment of Microsoft in Greece during the 28 years of its presence in the country.”
He stressed that the investment shows the company’s confidence in the Greek economy. The data center will also act as a regional center for neighboring countries.
The announcement was made at an event held at the Acropolis Museum with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in attendance.
“Greece is becoming a global hub of central digital storage of huge amounts of data. It is something that pulls our country into the 21st century,” Mitsotakis stated.
“Analysts talk about a total economic benefit that could exceed one billion in the long run. The overall benefit is skyrocketing if the value of the transformation in the economy as a whole is assessed,” the Greek leader added.
In 2021, Greece and Microsoft announced “Ancient Olympia: Common Grounds,” a new collaboration to digitally preserve and restore ancient Olympia, the original home of the Olympic games, using AI.
This digital revival project allows viewers around the world to explore ancient Olympia as it stood more than 2,000 years ago through an immersive experience via an interactive mobile app, a web-based desktop experience, or a Microsoft HoloLens 2 exhibition, at the Athens Olympic Museum.
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