Focus on AI and immersive technologies
The main reasons Meta has given for choosing Munich as a location to focus on digital technologies and innovation are the large pool of highly qualified professionals and the proximity to other companies working in these fields, as well as the density of DAX-listed companies. The vibrant startup scene is another factor. Meta’s core focus in Munich will be on artificial intelligence (AI) and immersive technologies.
Angelika Gifford, Vice President EMEA at Meta, says: “Immersive technologies and AI are crucial for the future, and are an integral part of the metaverse. At the moment, we are laying the foundations for XR and AI – we can’t do that alone, but only together with partners from different sectors. By now being represented with an office in Munich, we can further expand our partnerships. The numerous companies, industries and academic institutions located in Bavaria make Munich an optimal location for us.”
Meta has already previously invested in Munich. For example, in 2019, the company invested 7.5 million dollars in the “Institute for Ethics in Artificial Intelligence (IEAI)” at the Technical University of Munich. In spring this year, Meta announced a partnership with the Munich startup Straightlabs to investigate the potential of virtual reality (VR) and immersive technologies for lifelong learning and education.
According to quarterly figures from Wall Street, Meta is again enjoying growth. However, the company had to make cutbacks and implement a rigorous efficiency program, in the course of which 21,000 employees lost their jobs.1 That Meta is setting up a new German office in Munich shows that it sees the region as a key center for the technologies and developments that Meta itself wants to promote.
1 see heise.de, Big-Tech-Bilanzen: Meta im Höhenrausch..., 8/4/23.