30 November 2021 19:30

Google to invest $1 billion in Australia’s digital future

This program will be delivered over a period of five-year and include initiatives to strengthen digital infrastructure, develop Australian technology and talent, and solve global and local challenges.

Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai has announced a Digital Future Initiative worth a $1 billion commitment to Australia while speaking at an event in Sydney.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Chargé d’Affaires Mike Goldman from the US Embassy, and CSIRO CEO Larry Marshall joined Google CEO Sundar Pichai virtually to launch the initiative which will support new jobs, drive innovation and give Australians the tools they need to plan for the digital future.

This program will be delivered over a period of five-year and include initiatives to strengthen digital infrastructure, develop Australian technology and talent, and solve global and local challenges.

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Mr. Pichai said, “Looking ahead, we want to help Australia shape the next wave of innovations, and bring the benefits of technology to more people.”

“To help, today I’m proud to announce our biggest investment in Australia yet: a five-year, A$1 billion commitment to launch the Digital Future Initiative.”

This investment will focus on three areas.

  • First, it will help develop Australia’s digital infrastructure, focused on cloud computing.
  • Second, it will broaden the opportunity Google provides for local tech talent — including the launch of our first research hub in Australia. At Google Research Australia, they will build a team of local researchers and engineers to help tackle important issues, creating jobs and providing education and training.
  • Third, Google will create new technology partnerships to help solve Australian and global challenges. That includes working with the CSIRO team to explore clean energy and protecting the Great Barrier Reef, and with Macquarie University to advance quantum computing.

Partnerships like these will be at the heart of the Digital Future Initiative.

Mr Pichai said, “Growing up in Chennai, I remember listening to the cricket test series between Australia and India on the radio, and was glad to see the rivalry continue in that amazing series last summer.”

“Over time, I would come to realise the important role Australia has played in some of the world’s most significant technologies, including Wi-Fi.”

What the Digital Future Initiative can do for Australians, and our economy

Google says that the Digital Future Initiative is an investment in the extraordinary talent and creativity of Australians. It’s about ensuring every Australian has access to technology to realise their potential.

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It’s about laying foundations for a strong digital economy that can compete globally and support good jobs locally. And continuing Australia’s proud record of world-first innovation, harnessing technology to solve big challenges and create new opportunities for decades ahead.

The Digital Future Initiative will support 6,529 direct jobs and 28,057 total jobs across Australia and deliver $1.259 billion in direct investment and $6.716 billion in total economic impact.

Henry Ergas AO and Green Square Associates

Google believes a strong digital future is one where everyone has access to technology and the skills to use it, where the Internet economy fulfils its immense potential, and Australia’s long tradition of innovation can grow and thrive.

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