Morocco Strengthens its R&D Hub in AI and Cybersecurity

Morocco is committed to bolstering its R&D hub in AI and cybersecurity by partnering with Oracle, the American technology giant, to enhance its research and development (R&D) capabilities in Morocco, aiming to expand its workforce by hiring 1,000 IT specialists. This strategic initiative aims to accelerate the development of cutting-edge technologies addressing the challenges faced by Oracle’s global clientele.

Recognizing the significance of this expansion, Ghita Mezzour, Minister in Charge of Digital Transition and Administrative Reform, signed an agreement in May 2024 with Safra Catz, CEO of Oracle, formalizing this partnership and commitment to innovation in Morocco. The signing ceremony took place in the presence of Mohcine Jazouli, Minister in Charge of Investment, Convergence and Evaluation of Public Policies, as well as Ali Seddiki, Director General of the Moroccan Agency for Investment and Export Development (AMDIE).

Safra Catz highlighted the pivotal role already played by Oracle’s R&D center in Casablanca in technical advancements, cybersecurity enhancement, and the development of new artificial intelligence functionalities. By strengthening its presence in R&D in Morocco, Oracle aims to leverage the country’s vast talent pool to accelerate the creation of solutions enabling its global clients to thrive in their respective sectors.

This involves establishing a Center of Excellence open to young Moroccans and Africans who will spearhead the design and development of innovative solutions using cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing, and cybersecurity. These solutions will be deployed globally, thereby reinforcing Morocco’s position as a digital hub in the region.

Oracle’s expansion follows the inauguration of its Moroccan Development Center at the Casanearshore Park in Casablanca. Researchers working in this center harness cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning technologies to address pressing challenges in business, science, and the public sector. Approximately 40% of the new positions will be located outside the Greater Casablanca and Rabat-Salé-Kénitra regions, providing opportunities across the country. Additionally, Oracle plans to open new offices in Agadir this year and in northern Morocco within the next two years.

Minister Ghita Mezzour also met with officials from OpenAI, a global leader in artificial intelligence known for its flagship tool, ChatGPT, in San Francisco. During this meeting at OpenAI headquarters, the minister and Brad Lightcap, COO of OpenAI, explored opportunities for research and innovation cooperation tailored to Morocco’s specific needs. Mezzour highlighted discussions on Morocco’s current AI projects and the potential of young Moroccan talents in the field of information technology. This visit to San Francisco also includes meetings with several technology sector leaders aimed at promoting opportunities offered by Morocco in startup development and advanced technologies.

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