Google has opened its new office in downtown Montréal and announced a commitment of $2.75 million into Québec’s technology ecosystem, deepening its long-term history with the province.
This week, Google officially opened the doors to its new Viger space, a sustainability-focused office with the capacity to house up to 1,000 employees. The office is one of the three new Canadian offices that Google committed to opening in 2020. The others are in Toronto and Waterloo.
Google’s latest investment into Québec includes $1.5 million for Mila, which will help support AI research projects in areas like AI for humanity and climate change.
Fabrice Jaubert, the Montréal site lead for Google Canada, said that the Viger office will be home to a variety of teams that will work on some of “the most crucial” Google products and services such as cybersecurity, AI research, Chrome, and Cloud.
Since opening its first Montréal office in 2004, Google has made a number of subsequent commitments to Québec’s tech sector, with this $2.75 million investment being the most recent example.
Of that committment, $1.5 million is going towards Mila, and will help support AI research projects in areas like AI for humanity, climate change, and sustainable agriculture. The funding will also be allocated towards increasing successful participation of students and faculty from underrepresented groups in computing research careers, according to Google.
Google is an active partner of Mila, in which Google has invested in a number of times, including a $3.9 million grant in 2020, and $4.5 million in 2016.
The remaining portion of the $2.75 million in funding will go towards expanding Google Career Certificate courses to offer some in French, and providing Google.org grants to Startup Montreal, Pathways to Education, E2 Adventures, UpstartED, AI4Good Lab, and Resilience Montréal.
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Google.org will also provide a grant to NPower Canada to deliver the Google Career certificates in Québec, and offer need-based scholarships to programs that will be distributed through local workforce development nonprofits La Maison de l’Amitié and AIM CROIT.
Digital Moment (formerly Kids Code Jeunesse) will be receiving a Google.org grant as well to launch The Quebec Digital Literacy Project, a program designed to help teachers and students in Grades 3 to 12 with digital skills.
Jaubert added that the building pays tribute to Montréal by reflecting the essence of five of the city’s most beloved neighbourhoods: Little Italy, Le Village, Le Plateau, Chinatown and Old Port. Each of the five floors includes carefully curated art from local artists, and designed with the latest LEED Gold sustainability standards.
Feature image courtesy Google.