Google opened its newest offices in the Zurich Sihlpost building on Tuesday. As the IT giant writes in a statement, up to 5,000 people will eventually work in the new offices by 2020. With over 2,000 employees from 74 countries, Zurich is already the largest Google development centre outside of the US. The Google teams along the Limmat River are working on products like YouTube, Gmail and Google Maps.
The offices were opened in the presence of Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann. In his speech, the Swiss commerce minister called the relations between Google and Switzerland “a love story”.
“We’re extremely proud that Google Switzerland is the largest research and development centre outside the US,” said Schneider-Ammann, adding that Switzerland offers Google a unique educational system, liberal and flexible conditions as well as reliability.
Zurich mayor Corine Mauch is very pleased with Google’s commitment to city of Zurich. “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,” she is quoted in the Google statement.
Google in Zurich develops products for the entire world, but the company is also committed to Swiss projects. Through a series of partnerships, it is campaigning for stronger education in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) subjects in Switzerland. Starting in autumn 2016, Google will begin training IT apprentices in the new offices. It is also working with the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology in Zurich and Lausanne on machine learning, machine perception and computer systems.
Google is also working to support Switzerland’s SME community together with Switzerland’s export promoter, Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE). The two developed the platform exportdigital.ch to help companies and individuals access digital know-how. Finally, the IT giant is also a founding member of the initiative digitalswitzerland, which is working to position Switzerland as an international digital hub.