CEO Sundar Pichai announced Monday that the company would devote 1 billion Australian dollars (about $736 million) to the country over the next five years.
The funds will go, in part, toward launching the firm’s first research hub in Australia, as well as helping develop the nation’s cloud computing sector.
Google (GOOGL) also plans to team up with an Australian government agency on scientific research, which will include projects on clean energy and protection of the Great Barrier Reef. Additionally, the firm will partner with a local university on quantum computing.Google, which has been in Australia for two decades and now employs nearly 2,000 people locally, said that the new initiative is expected to help create new jobs and spur innovation.Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison praised the move Tuesday, calling it “a $1 billion vote of confidence” in Australia’s economic strategy. Morrison’s government has previously outlined plans to turn Australia into “a top digital economy by 2030,” working to bolster its capabilities in artificial intelligence, among other areas.
Speaking at a Google office in Sydney on Tuesday, Morrison emphasized that the plan “doesn’t mean we’re trying to be the next Silicon Valley.”
But he said that the company’s program would help create more than 6,000 jobs and add about 6.7 billion Australian dollars ($4.9 billion) of value to the economy.
“Our challenge, as we emerge from this pandemic in a very challenging world, is to secure Australia’s…