Google’s Digital Future Initiative invests in Australian technology

Digital Future Initiative

Image credit: Google Australia.

Google Australia has launched the Digital Future Initiative – a $1 billion investment that aims to strengthen local capabilities, support jobs and build Australia’s digital economy. 

“Australia can help lead the world’s next wave of innovation, harnessing technology to improve lives, create jobs and make progress on shared challenges,” Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said. 

“To help, we’re proud to make a five-year, $1 billion commitment to launch the Digital Future Initiative and help bring the benefits of technology to more Australians.” 

The initiative builds on Google’s work in Australia over the last two decades by investing in: 

  • The foundations of the digital economy including a major investment in digital infrastructure; 
  • Australian-made technology and talent with a first ever Australian Google Research Hub; 
  • Partnerships to solve big challenges, including a collaboration with CSIRO. 

Google Australia managing director Mel Silva said the Digital Future Initiative was about accelerating the country’s progress to become a leading digital economy. 

“The Digital Future Initiative is about bringing significant technology resources and capabilities to Australia, investing in the infrastructure that benefits people and businesses, and helping the best talent thrive here,” Silva said. 

“A strong digital future creates opportunities, improves the everyday and enables the extraordinary – and we’d love to help Australia and Australians make the most of the opportunity and build for tomorrow.” 

Analysis by economist Henry Ergas and Green Square Associates found that Google’s Digital Future Initiative will support 6,529 new direct jobs and 28,057 total jobs across Australia. It will also deliver $1.259 billion in direct investment and $6.716 billion in total economic impact. 

The foundations of the digital economy 

Digital infrastructure is a major driver of Australian productivity. Under this initiative, Google’s investment in cloud infrastructure will provide Australian businesses with a secure and robust platform for business transformation, faster innovation and growth. 

Customers are already benefiting from the expanded cloud regions, to respond to ever-changing customer needs quickly and efficiently. 

Australian-made technology and talent  

Research is the engine that drives innovation at Google, creating the tools, programs and breakthroughs that enable people to tackle big challenges. Google’s teams aspire to make discoveries that impact everyone.  

Therefore, the company has launched Google Research Australia, their first research hub in Australia. Partnering with the research community across the country and Google Research hubs around the world, Google will build a team of local researchers and engineers to explore ways AI can tackle issues that are important in Australia and worldwide.  

Partnerships to solve big challenges  

As part of the initiative, Google is collaborating with Australian organisations – including a multimillion research partnership with CSIRO – to solve challenges like natural hazard management, energy and protecting the health of the Great Barrier Reef. 

“CSIRO solves Australia’s greatest challenges through innovative science and technology, but our partnerships with industry are what makes those solutions real – because when industry innovates, Australia grows,” CSIRO chief executive Dr Larry Marshall said. 

“CSIRO’s science makes life better for every Australian, and when amplified by Google’s Technology it will catalyse collaborative projects across our entire national innovation system, driving opportunity for businesses of all sizes across every market.” 

A partnership with Macquarie University is also deepening Google’s investment in quantum computing in Australia. This work to advance quantum computing has broad future implications, such as improving batteries and producing fertiliser more efficiently. 

“Building Australia’s digital future starts with having the right foundation for growth,” Google Cloud ANZ vice president Alister Dias said. 

“From new cloud regions here in Australia to high-bandwidth and connectivity, every aspect of our infrastructure investment is a strong reflection of our commitment to help businesses scale, innovate faster and bring their ideas to life.” 

Off the back of the Digital Future Initiative, Google is also officially launching its new expanded Sydney office in Pyrmont. This will be Google Australia’s third Sydney office. 

Google has also submitted a development application for a fourth Sydney office, expected to be completed in early 2024.  

For more information about the Digital Future Initiative, click here.