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Zurich, Switzerland, just may be Google’s next big tech hub

Silicon Valley is moving overseas — or at least a portion of it is.

It looks as though the new hub for Google’s research and development efforts may be in Zurich. On Tuesday, Patrick Warnking, Google’s Country Director of Switzerland, authored a blog post detailing the future of Google in Europe, in which he noted that “Zurich, already the largest Google development center outside of the U.S. and housing teams working on Google Search, Maps, Calendar, YouTube and Gmail, will now be the European home base for our exploration of research and implementation of machine learning.”

Already, more than 2,000 Google employees from 75 countries call the Zurich office their home base, and as the hub expanded along the Limmat River, there’s room for around 3,000 more.

“Google is now deeply rooted in Zurich. I am very pleased that Google has chosen to invest in Zurich — both in jobs and new offices,” said Zurich’s mayor Corine Mauch. “The opening of the new office shows that Zurich — with its high quality of life, close proximity to institutions of applied sciences and universities, and modern infrastructure — is an attractive location for ICT companies and businesses in general.”

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Currently, the Zurich-based team helps to provide internet services to “millions of people around the world.” But with the addition of new offices in Europaallee, the tech giant is hoping to further expand its digital footprint in the continent.

Since June of 2016, the Google Europe Research Team has called Zurich its home base, where experts have been tackling problems like machine learning and natural speech recognition — technologies that have been implemented in Google Assistant, Google Photos, and Google Translate. In growing its capabilities, the research team plans to introduce “research partnerships on machine learning, machine perception, and computer systems” with Switzerland’s academic community.

“We believe that partnerships–in economics, research, and policy–are important factors in this success for Switzerland,” Warnking concluded. “We’re optimistic about the latest expansion and to continue working together with our partners to increase innovation in Switzerland and to shape the future.”