Adi Diamant
Adi DiamantIsrael news photo: PR

Microsoft Israel R&D Center held on Sunday its Think Next 2012 conference in Tel Aviv. Think Next is an annual innovation conference which has been running for four consecutive years.

The event is an annual celebration of creativity and innovation, providing center stage for industry leaders, mind provoking speakers and ground breaking developments. About 40 new technologies were presented at the conference, 20 of which were invented by Israeli start-up companies that chosen from among more than 100 candidates.

The event’s keynote Speaker was Rick Rashid, Chief Research officer at Microsoft Research, for whom it was the first visit to Israel. Rashid was accompanied by a delegation of about 25 senior officials with Microsoft.

Adi Diamant, Director of Microsoft’s Israel Innovation Labs, told Arutz Sheva that Israel, considered the ‘start-up nation’, is even considered by technology giant Microsoft to be an innovative country.

“We really leverage what we call Israel’s unique value position and introduce to Microsoft’s executives one of the best industries in the high-tech world right now,” said Diamant.

“Right now, Microsoft Israel employs about 600 employees, most of whom focus on the business intelligence area,” he added. “We also have a microcosm of many groups in different areas. In a way, we focus on two main pillars but we are actually a group of about ten different start-ups within Microsoft and for Microsoft.”

Microsoft has recently chosen Israel for its first-ever startup accelerator to encourage the use of cloud-based applications using Windows Azure.

The “cloud” concept allows an individual or company to provide information without having to rely on software programs.

Microsoft is involved in other accelerators, but the Israeli venture is the first time it is running one with its own employees.