Discover how Microsoft AI Co-Innovation Labs are driving AI innovation by collaborating with companies and startups to create breakthrough solutions.

In today's digital age, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become essential for technological progress across industries. Microsoft, as a leader in technology solutions, is stepping up to the plate with the AI Co-Innovation Labs. This exciting initiative fosters collaboration between companies and startups to drive the development of innovative AI projects.

The new Microsoft AI Co-Innovation Labs offer companies the opportunity to access the latest Microsoft technology. The labs are designed to create and test innovative artificial intelligence solutions in a collaborative and supportive environment.

With a personalised approach, Microsoft is committed to supporting organisations on their digital transformation journey, helping them reinvent their products and business models in an ever-changing technology world.

These labs represent a milestone in collaboration and technology development, setting a new standard of excellence in the field of artificial intelligence.

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What Are Microsoft AI Co-Innovation Labs?

Microsoft AI Co-Innovation Labs are a revolutionary initiative that connects companies and startups in a global collaborative network to drive the development and deployment of artificial intelligence projects.

These AI labs represent a global collaborative network designed to accelerate the development and deployment of AI projects.

Microsoft, as a leader in technology solutions, has recognised the significant impact that artificial intelligence has on the digital evolution of different industries. That is why it has stepped forward with this innovative initiative, providing a co-innovation space where companies, startups and AI experts can collaborate and create revolutionary solutions that drive technological progress worldwide. Microsoft AI Co-Innovation Labs represent a commitment to excellence and cutting-edge AI, setting a new standard for collaboration and technology development.

Microsoft AI Co-Innovation Labs: What do they offer?

Microsoft's engineering team, comprised of highly skilled artificial intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT) specialists, is committed to working closely with each organisation, ensuring a detailed process tailored to the specific needs of each business. Through a personalised and close approach, AI Co-Innovation Labs offers comprehensive and tailored programmes ranging from exclusive brainstorming sessions to agile prototyping engagements.

This initiative has a clear end goal: to help companies make the leap towards digital transformation, enabling them to reinvent their products, services and business models in an increasingly technology-driven environment. With Microsoft's backing and vast experience, organisations can be confident that they are in expert hands to achieve their AI innovation goals.

Personalised Support for AI Success

The fast pace of AI innovation can be challenging for many organisations, from startups to large enterprises. Microsoft Co-Innovation Labs offers a customised approach to help companies navigate this terrain. Through programmes tailored to individual needs, such as customised brainstorming sessions and rapid prototyping engagements, engineering teams can get the guidance and support they need to achieve their AI innovation goals.

Azure AI Studio: A Hub for AI Innovation

At the heart of this initiative is Azure AI Studio, an end-to-end platform that unifies Microsoft's diverse AI services in the Azure cloud. From initial exploration to production deployment, Azure AI Studio provides the perfect environment for developers and data scientists to create innovative AI-based solutions.

Independent Sprints to Boost Innovation

Microsoft offers three independent sprints designed to suit the specific needs of each project:

  1. Exploration: A quick session is offered to introduce the technology and explore possible use cases.
  2. Proof of Concept: Experts collaborate to jointly design and develop a proof of concept tailored to the use case.
  3. Production: Lab experts provide assistance in scaling and producing a unique solution tailored to the company's needs.

Global Collaboration, Local Impact

With locations in key cities around the world, including Redmond, San Francisco, Munich, Shanghai, Kobe and Montevideo, Microsoft AI Co-Innovation Labs are designed to foster global collaboration. In addition, online technology support ensures that companies anywhere in the world can access Microsoft's AI resources and expertise.


Microsoft AI Co-Innovation Labs: Use Cases

Many organisations are actively exploring AI, machine learning and deep learning models to uncover new business opportunities. However, they often encounter obstacles when trying to scale their proofs of concept due to the lack of a stable data platform and quality standards.

Here are some success stories from Microsoft's new AI labs, where their expertise in Microsoft Azure AI has been instrumental in delivering solutions that overcome challenges and realise the full potential of AI.


Empowering Railway Inspection with Microsoft AI: The Case of Athena

In a world where Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) connectivity is constantly growing, companies like Athena Industrial Services excel at leveraging technology to improve the efficiency and quality of their services. Canada-based Athena is known for its innovative approach to developing and manufacturing non-destructive testing equipment.

One of Athena's weaknesses was in data management collected by nodes and gateways used in railway track detection, where the abundance of information made it difficult to identify crucial problems.

Partnering with the Microsoft AI Co-Innovation Lab, Athena sought a solution to connect its devices to the Azure IoT Hub, capture and store telemetry data.


Thanks to the Laboratory's experience, Athena was able to design a modern and comprehensive method of railway data collection.

  • Existing gateway devices were connected to the cloud via Azure IoT Hub.
  • Implemented telemetry data capture and storage in Azure.
  • Advanced analytics with Azure Machine Learning.
  • Created a user interface channel based on PowerApps to facilitate data visualisation by users.
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  • Azure IoT Hub: Cloud service that acts as a messaging hub for communication between IoT applications and devices, ensuring reliability and security.

  • Azure Machine Learning: Platform that enables developers and data scientists to build, train and deploy machine learning models quickly and securely, with an emphasis on MLOps to accelerate product development and promote team collaboration.

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Athena was able to implement a comprehensive solution to monitor the condition of the railway tracks, providing key information on railway operations to its customers.
  • The generation of customised reports for clients was facilitated.
  • The Athena team was trained in Microsoft technologies, giving them the ability to continue to innovate in the future.


Innovation in Education with PLN: BBC

BBC, an institution recognised worldwide for its excellence in producing educational content, was faced with the challenge of organising and making accessible its vast repository of educational content, which includes text, video, audio and more.

In April 2020, the BBC turned to the Microsoft AI Co-Innovation Lab in Munich to create a knowledge services infrastructure that would allow users to navigate its content in innovative ways and ask questions to get direct answers.

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The project started with the idea of developing an application to help students aged 13-16 prepare for their maths exams (GCSE in the UK) by asking questions in natural language and receiving relevant answers. To address this challenge, the Lab focused on implementing Azure LUIS (Language Understanding) and Cosmos DB.

The engineering team worked in two teams, one focused on implementing Azure LUIS for conversational language understanding, and the other on building the database in Cosmos DB to store the BBC's educational content. Regular meetings were held to ensure alignment between the two parts of the project, and an Azure Python function was developed to parse the LUIS responses and query the Cosmos DB Graph.

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  • Azure Language Understanding: Azure LUIS is a service that interprets natural language to understand user intent and extract key information from conversations. It allows the creation of customisable multilingual models in 96 languages, with the ability to understand the meaning of expressions and capture word variations. 
  • Cosmos DB (NoSQL Database): Azure Cosmos DB is a highly scalable serverless NoSQL database with guaranteed performance in single-digit milliseconds and 99.999% availability. It offers enterprise-grade security, open source APIs for NoSQL databases, including MongoDB and Cassandra, and enables fast writes and reads worldwide through multi-region writes and data replication.
  • Python (Programming Language)
  • Azure (Microsoft Cloud Computing Platform)



After six weeks of intensive work, the BBC and the Microsoft AI Co-Innovation Lab succeeded in developing a dynamic knowledge mining solution that allowed users to ask questions in natural language and receive relevant answers based on BBC educational content.

This application represents a significant advance in the way students can access and use educational content, providing a more interactive and personalised learning experience.


Transforming the Pharmaceutical Industry with Artificial Intelligence: The Case of Pharmacube and Microsoft Azure

The pharmaceutical industry faces significant challenges, from the high cost and slow pace of drug development to inefficient research and development (R&D). However, the convergence of artificial intelligence (AI) and the pharmaceutical industry offers the promise of optimisation and cost reduction.

During his residency at Microsoft's AI Co-Innovation Lab, Pharmacube focused on two key technical challenges: standardised pharmaceutical sales data storage and accurate clinical term matching.

empresa farmacéutica

To address these challenges, solutions were implemented using Microsoft's Azure Form Recognizer and Azure Text Analytics for Health.

  • Standard Sales Data Storage (SSS): Azure Form Recognizer was used to extract sales data from Chinese and English financial reports, reducing workload and associated costs.
  • Precise Clinical Term Matching (WORD): Azure Text Analytics for Health automated the precise matching of clinical terms, achieving a 97.7% match rate.
caso de éxito farmacéutica
  • Azure Form Recognizer: Azure Applied AI cloud service uses ML models to extract information from documents, such as text, tables and key-value pairs. It provides accurate results tailored to specific content, without the need for a lot of manual intervention or data science expertise, allowing you to automate data processing and improve data-driven strategies.
  • Azure Text Analytics for Health, part of Azure Cognitive Service for Language, uses AI algorithms in the cloud to extract and tag relevant medical information from unstructured text, such as medical notes and electronic clinical records.
  • Microsoft Azure


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  • An automated match rate of 98% was achieved in the processing of pharmaceutical data.
  • Accelerated data processing: Significant improvement in operational efficiency was observed globally.
  • AI's transformative potential: The results highlight the transformative impact of artificial intelligence in the pharmaceutical industry.

Transforming Manufacturing with Microsoft Azure IoT Edge: The Case of Wuxi Lingding Technology Co. Ltd.

In the era of Industry 4.0, the evolution from "Big Data" to "smart data" is being driven by edge computing. Wuxi Lingding Technology Co. Ltd., a leading company in industrial IoT and smart manufacturing, is leveraging this technology to innovate in the manufacturing sector.

In collaboration with Microsoft engineers at the AI co-innovation lab in Shanghai, Lingding Technology designed and validated a next-generation edge computing gateway using Azure IoT Edge. Its goal was to leverage IoT edge computing capabilities and establish joint sales partnerships with Microsoft.

empresa tecnológica

A software architecture for the edge computing gateway was designed using Azure IoT Edge, and the compatibility and stability of hardware devices was verified.

In addition, AI capabilities, such as Custom Vision, were extended to Lingding Technology's edge devices to explore application scenarios such as visual quality inspection.

  • Azure SQL Edge is a strong IoT database designed for edge computing. It offers capabilities such as data streaming, time series, integrated machine learning and graphs. By extending the industry-leading Microsoft SQL engine to edge devices, it provides consistent performance and security from the cloud to the edge.

  • Azure Custom Vision, part of Azure Cognitive Services, allows you to customise and integrate advanced image analytics for specific domains without requiring machine learning expertise. 

caso de éxito empresa tecnología
  • Verificación de Arquitectura: Se validó la arquitectura del sistema de la pasarela de edge computing de próxima generación, desplegando con éxito el tiempo de ejecución Azure IoT Edge y la imagen de contenedor IIoT-Module del software de edge computing de Lingding Technology.
  • Actualización OTA: Se completó la verificación técnica de la actualización OTA para la imagen de contenedor del módulo IIoT del software de computación de borde.
  • Estabilidad del Módulo IIoT: Se comprobó la estabilidad del módulo IIoT en la pasarela netPI de Hilscher.
  • Capacidades Extendidas: Se agregaron capacidades de Custom Vision a los dispositivos de borde de Lingding Technology, permitiendo la inspección de calidad visual.


AI Co-Innovation Labs: Shaping the Future of AI Innovation

The Future Computed

Get ready to unleash the full potential of artificial intelligence with Microsoft! Download the free ebook and start your journey to a more effective AI implementation.

In a rapidly evolving technology landscape, Microsoft AI Co-Innovation Labs are positioned to play a crucial role in shaping the future of AI development. By providing a space for both startups and established companies to experiment and grow, Microsoft is leading the way towards a culture of innovation and collaboration in the AI field.

For those interested in exploring the opportunities offered by this exciting new AI innovation ecosystem, the Microsoft Co-Innovation Labs are open and ready to receive applications. In an AI-driven world, the future is now, and Microsoft is leading the way to the next frontier of technology innovation.

Posted by Núria Emilio