Cortex Innovation Community Welcomes Microsoft To Missouri

The Cortex Innovation Community announced that Microsoft Corp. will open a new regional headquarters and a Microsoft Technology Center (MTC) in a state-of-the-art facility inside Cortex, located in St. Louis’ Central West End district. Microsoft’s commitment in St. Louis will bring more than 150 employees to the 29,000-square-foot facility that will be located within Wexford Science + Technology’s latest building in Cortex, and the technology giant is investing more than $50 million in local jobs, facilities and software grants.

“We are thrilled to be welcoming Microsoft to Missouri,” said Missouri Governor Eric Greitens. “Everywhere we go around the state people have the same message for us: we want more jobs in our community. We can only do that with companies like Microsoft and partners like the Cortex Innovation Community.”

Cortex was founded in 2002 through a collaboration among BJC Healthcare, the Missouri Botanical Garden, Saint Louis University, the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Washington University in St. Louis. The district has grown into the Midwest’s leading hub of innovation and technology commercialization, and was cited by the Brookings Institution as a model of urban innovation districts.

“Adding a pillar of technology innovation like Microsoft to the Cortex community is a great validation of our mission,” said Dennis Lower, president of Cortex. “The new Microsoft Technology Center brings another leading-edge technology resource to St. Louis’ booming innovation community, and its presence adds further credibility to the reality that St. Louis has become one of the leading growth cities for innovation companies.”

The new MTC in Cortex, designed by architecture firm HOK and expected to open in summer 2018, will support the technology-driven community with unique amenities and showcase the latest technologies that drive digital transformation across many industries, with a special focus on healthcare. At more than 40 locations worldwide, MTCs bring together resources that help companies explore Microsoft products while interacting with tech experts and experiencing firsthand how Microsoft and partner technologies can help them grow their businesses.

Among the benefits MTC staff can offer to organizations in the region are the following:

  • Help on projects such as strategy briefings, architecture design and proofs of concept
  • Find solutions that add business value and help grow the local economy
  • Bring together resources to help businesses explore the potential impact of cloud, mobile and social business solutions
  • Help companies optimize their cloud investments to get the most from their technologies

“Opening a new Microsoft Technology Center in the thriving Central West End district is exciting for our company and our customers, as St. Louis continues to support a booming technology scene,” said Ervin Flores, general manager, Mid-America District, at Microsoft. “We are thrilled to support local startups, as well as enterprises large and small, through our work with the Cortex Innovation Community.”

Beyond serving businesses and partners, MTCs are committed to serve the broader community and local organizations through software grants and educational programs. Students, nonprofits and those they serve will have the ongoing opportunity to experience and access technology solutions and expertise through programs such as DigiGirlz and Hour of Code. Microsoft has a longstanding relationship with the Saint Louis Science Center, which has hosted DigiGirlz events for nine years and recently received a $1.1 million grant from Microsoft to support youth access to computer science education, coding, technology skills and technology careers. The grant will fund opportunities spanning training, entrepreneurship and employment.

Microsoft also aims to positively impact the city through strategic partnerships that offer free and low-cost cloud offerings to students, educators and nonprofits.

“Wexford Science and Technology is excited to have the power of a Microsoft Technology Center as a critical anchor of our next building within the Cortex Innovation Community,” said James Berens, President and CEO of Wexford Science and Technology. “This represents another important step in the continued development of a dynamic Knowledge Community that brings together intellectual capital, innovation and infrastructure providing a center of gravity and congregation for the well recognized innovation and entrepreneurial activities taking place in Cortex and across St. Louis.”