What is Google's biggest focus right now

Google Germany: Focus on progress

Germany is one of the most important locations in Europe for Google. In Hamburg, Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt, almost 2,000 employees work on key issues such as data protection and artificial intelligence. At the same time, Google is promoting the digitization of society with various initiatives

When the Google holding company renamed itself "Alphabet" a few years ago, it made people smile at the Hamburg location: Google has had its headquarters here since 2003 on ABC-Straße. And according to legend, the unusual address inspired the choice of name in Silicon Valley. But the Hanseatic city is also a special location in other respects: The Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page made Hamburg the headquarters in Germany and the very first offshoot on the European mainland almost 20 years ago.

The Hamburg location:
From marketing to law

The teams at Google are colorful and diverse. Together, they create a coherent picture - like the Coco Chanel glued on post-its.

The Google building on ABC-Strasse blends in inconspicuously with the Hamburg city center architecture. But the inside is colorful: each office floor has a different motto. On the “water” floor there is a conference room designed like the inside of a whale, while the “music” level conveys the atmosphere of a recording studio. The employees can also work in the »Holthusenbad«, a room with the ambience of a swimming pool, but in which the water has been replaced by foam cubes. Google's experts in human resources, marketing, communication, finance and law work on the ten floors. Most of the approximately 600 employees in the Hanseatic city are dedicated to sales and support major customers, for example, in their online marketing activities.

The Berlin location:
From politics to AI

In Berlin, experts are doing basic research on artificial intelligence

In Berlin, the Googlers worked for many years only as "subtenants" in office buildings on Unter den Linden. Only in 2019 did they move into a new home in the listed Gropius ensemble on Tucholskystraße. There is space for up to 300 employees in an area of ​​8,500 square meters. 200 Googlers are currently working in the capital, among others from the areas of cloud, localization, marketing, public policy, sales, Google for startups and YouTube. AI specialists work with colleagues around the world to conduct basic research on artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The YouTube space has recently also moved to the Gropius ensemble, a listed building (left). A historic lecture hall of the former Charité women's clinic is now used for events.

The YouTube Space, which offers, among other things, studios and camera equipment for video productions, is also at home in the historic building that once housed the Charité women's clinic. A lecture hall from this period was retained during the renovation by the architect Sir David Chipperfield.

The Munich location:
Global security center

A look at the Munich Google building at Hackerbrücke - including a spacious roof terrace.

Since 2006, Google also has a Bavarian postal address. The local connection is cultivated, to this day every new employee in Munich receives a Google beer mug as a greeting. Site manager and head of development Wieland Holfelder began building a local team in 2008, which is now of international importance. The Google solutions, which guarantee security and data protection worldwide, are created in Munich. Many of the approximately 1200 employees at what is now Germany's largest location are further developing the security architecture of applications such as the Chrome browser or the Google account. The exchange between Bavaria and California is lively: computer scientists and software developers keep relocating the center of their lives for some time from the USA to the Isar in order to work together with their colleagues in Germany. At the same time, Google has invested heavily in expanding the Munich location into a global data protection center in recent years. The Google Safety Engineering Center (GSEC) opened here in May 2019. The mission of this global center is to create a safe framework for the internet of the future. In addition, around 41,000 square meters of office space for around 1,500 additional jobs will be created in the former Postpalast in the foreseeable future.

For me it is certain that Germany, with its talents, its excellent education system and its passion for IT and technology in this area, has a great future ahead of it. However, we know that many people in Germany - as in most other countries - lack the essential skills to feel part of this fast-growing, technology-centric economy

Philipp Justus Vice President Google Central Europe and General Manager Google Germany

Digital skills for everyone

In Munich, Berlin and Hamburg, Google is not only represented with offices. The on-site training courses of the Google Future Workshop are held regularly at these three locations and with weekly workshops in many other German cities. And that's not all: Google Zukunftswerkstatt also offers numerous online courses on digital education. The offers range from training courses in online marketing and programming to assistance with successful applications and more productive work. To date, the initiative has helped more than half a million people acquire new digital skills - with significant positive effects for careers, companies and the German economy. According to the results of a Europe-wide study that has been running since 2016, more than 13,500 participants in the Google Future Workshop have so far found another job, received a promotion or founded a new company. More than 43,000 small businesses grew after visiting the Google Future Workshop.

Technology for a better society

A lighthouse project of the Google.org Impact Challenge 2016: The "digital heroes" train teachers and students to become mentors. They should advise younger classmates, among other things, on how to use social networks and how to prevent cyberbullying.

In addition to digital progress in the economy, Google also supports people who volunteer for their fellow citizens, culture and the environment - in Germany that is more than 30 million. For example, the Google.org Impact Challenge, which has already taken place twice in this country, is aimed at them. The competition honors ideas that can make social coexistence a little better with the help of technology - regardless of whether it is with an app, a website or in some other innovative way. Last time, 100 non-profit initiatives made it to the finals, with 50 winners receiving up to 500,000 euros in funding for their project ideas. Independently of this, Google supports numerous other initiatives in Germany, including for digital education and security as well as against hate and bullying on the Internet.

Photos: Markus Mielek (2), Eva Häberle (2), Thomas Eugster (2), Google LLC / Christian Rudnik (2), Patrick Desbrosses, LÊMRICH

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