Microsoft has announced further details on its plans to open a new European Search Technology Centre (STC).

The centre will have three "centres of excellence", in Paris, London and Munich, and the company says it will be a "key asset" to the more than 40 other company research and development related facilities already operating in Europe.

The aim of the localised centres is to tap into local expertise and fuel local innovation with job opportunities that will help "reinvent the European consumer online and search experience".

"To compete in a global, innovation-driven economy, we need to draw on the world’s smartest, most creative minds. Increasingly, we are finding the talent we need here in Europe", Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said, speaking at an event in Paris.

"To tap into that talent, we’ve invested in research and development across the region and today, Europe is second only to the United States in the number of engineers and researchers we have working on creating innovative products and services."