In November 2021, the Digital Future Initiative was launched as a USD740 million, five-year commitment to Australia, which will focus on three major areas: strengthening digital infrastructure, including cloud computing, developing Australian technology and talent, and solving global and local challenges.
The announcement was made at the opening of Google’s expanded Sydney office, which was attended by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Google Australia & New Zealand managing director Mel Silva, CSIRO chief executive Dr. Larry Marshall, and Chargé d’Affaires Michael Goldman from the U.S. Embassy.
The Google Digital Future Initiative will support 6,529 new direct jobs and 28,057 total jobs across Australia and deliver USD1.259 billion in direct investment and USD6.716 billion in total economic impact, according to the analysis by economist Henry Ergas AO and Green Square Associates.
Mel Silva, Google Australia & New Zealand managing director said, “Since we started our first office here in a Sydney lounge room in 2002, Australian talent and creativity have been central to Google’s success, with products like Google Maps born right here in Australia. Today, with the Digital Future Initiative, we're making our largest single investment ever in Australia, aiming to strengthen local capabilities and help build Australia's digital economy for the future."
As part of the initiative, Google will collaborate with Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, to build the country’s quantum computing research program.
According to Investment NSW, the government's economic development and attraction agency, Digital Future Initiative, will see more than USD$370 million in direct investment into New South Wales and is set to create more than 2,000 direct jobs and support more than 9,000 total jobs.
“NSW is set to become a global leader in quantum technology, with Tech Central’s Quantum Terminal soon to open, offering more than 3,000 square meters of affordable co-working space for researchers, developers, engineers, and mentors to collaborate on the cutting edge of quantum and adjacent technologies," Investment NSW CEO Amy Brown said.
In another effort, media company News Corp Australia and Google have joined forces to launch the Digital News Academy in partnership with the Melbourne Business School at the University of Melbourne. The new program will provide digital skills training for journalists and other media outlets in a nine-month course that will take 750 enrolments.
Google will also launch its first-ever research hub in Australia to turbocharge the development of new technologies.