RIM isn’t the only company that recognizes Canadian brainpower; Google recently opened a 34,000 square foot office in the technology hub of Kitchener-Waterloo. The office was opened to the public on Wednesday with a full fanfare of three MPs, all of Kitchener’s city council, and a multitude of engineers.
The opening of this office marks a new direction for Google as the company attempts to jump into the Kitchener-Waterloo tech ecosystem. The University of Waterloo is one of the main attractions for both major technology companies and start-ups alike as it supplies one of the world’s largest pool of engineering talent.
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RIM, Canada’s manufacturer of BlackBerry and the new PlayBook tablet, has cultivated a lucrative friendship with the University of Waterloo through large donations and a close association by co-founder and Waterloo graduate Mike Lazaridis.
Noting this, Google announced that it is gifting the University of Waterloo with multiple donations. It will also be funding a substantial grant for the University’s math and computer science department to research how to separate information and “noise” on social media sites. Google seeks to protect their search-engine integrity while also offering software for mobile devices like Android and Chrome.
The Kitchener-Waterloo office focuses on this kind of mobile technology and the Chrome product is overseen mainly by Kitchener-Waterloo engineers. Google is also venturing into the laptop market with its release of the Samsung Chromebook and their Kitchener-Waterloo engineers will play a major role in revising that technology as well as creating new projects. As Google’s Vice President of Engineering Stuart Feldman put it, “All Google engineers are good but these ones are really good.”