CSIRO inks multi-million clean energy deal with Google

Google signage on offices (CSIRO)
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Australia’s national science agency has scored a five-year, multi-million dollar partnership with Google to work on national missions around clean energy and artificial intelligence.

The partnership is a key element of Google’s $1 billion Digital Future Initiative, which will see the tech giant and CSIRO partnering to solve local and global issues.

The Digital Future Initiative was launched by 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 US Embassy at the opening of Google’s expanded Sydney office. 

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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 Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO.

Mel Silva, Google Australia MD, said the Digital Future Initiative was about helping accelerate our country’s progress to becoming 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 AO and Green Square Associates has found that Google’s Digital Future Initiative will support 6,529 new 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.

Related article: CSIRO and partners to form path towards rapid emissions reduction

Through this initiative, Google is expanding its Australian collaborations, starting with a multi-million research partnership with the CSIRO to bring forward solutions to challenges, like natural hazard management, energy and protecting the health of the Great Barrier Reef.

In partnership with Macquarie University, Google is deepening its 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.

With the Digital Future Initiative, Google is also officially launching its new expanded Sydney office, in Pyrmont—Google Australia’s third Sydney office. The expansion has seen the creation of 550 new desks and an auditorium and space for national and international industry events.