The future of research and development for Google in Europe may well lie in Zurich. Currently housing over 2,000 Googlers from 75 countries, this winter we’ve expanded our presence along the Limmat River, giving us room to expand to 5,000 people. Zurich, already the largest Google development centre outside of the U.S. and housing teams working on Google Search, Maps, Calendar, YouTube and Gmail, will now be the European homebase for our exploration of research and implementation of machine learning.
Millions of people around the world are already using internet services developed and managed by the Google teams in Zurich--products used by individuals or, like many leading European companies do, to improve the efficiency of business processes. By adding new offices in Europaallee next to the Zurich train station, Google Switzerland is creating even more space for innovation.
The new Google Europe Research Team has been based in Zurich since June 2016, working on the future issue of machine learning and focusing on natural speech recognition and reproduction. The work is used in services such as Google Assistant, Google Photos or Google Translate.
“Google is now deeply rooted in Zurich. I am very pleased that Google has chosen to invest in Zurich – both in jobs and new offices. The opening of the new office shows that Zurich – with its high quality of life, close proximity to institutions of applied sciences and universities, and modern infrastructure – is an attractive location for ICT companies and businesses in general,” Zurich’s mayor Corine Mauch said, expressing her pleasure at Google’s additional investment in Zurich.
In addition to fostering in-house talent, Google Switzerland is campaigning for stronger education in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education in the country including partnerships designed to strengthen programming skills and media competency in Switzerland. Starting in autumn 2017, Google will begin training IT apprentices in the new offices, and together with the academic community, including ETH in Zurich and EPFL, we’re working on research partnerships on machine learning, machine perception, and computer systems.
We’re also working to support Switzerland’s SME community via the exportdigital.ch platform, created in collaboration with Switzerland Global Enterprise. Through this online portal, part of Google’s Growth Engine efforts, companies and individuals can access digital know-how to open doors to potential export markets around the world. During the past three years, more than 30,000 people have taken these courses.
And because Google itself started out in a garage--we believe that big ideas often start small--Google is a founding member of the digitalswitzerland association working to position Switzerland as an international digital hub.
We believe that partnerships--in economics, research, and policy--are important factors in this success for Switzerland. That's why we're delighted for the opportunity to be at the heart of Zurich during such exciting times through research agreements, continuing education initiatives for SMEs, and initiatives like digitalswitzerland to promote innovation at and for the site. We're optimistic about the latest expansion and to continue working together with our partners to increase innovation in Switzerland and to shape the future.