Google Celebrates 15th Anniversary in Singapore, Announcing New Initiatives in Online Safety

Google on Tuesday, 23 August, hosted the first-ever Google for Singapore event, celebrating the company's 15th anniversary in the city-state.

Credit: Google

The event was attended by industry and government leaders, including Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong, who joined the search engine giant as it laid out its plans of how it'll empower today's Singaporeans. The new initiatives look to strengthen the island country's leading position as a regional and global technology innovation hub, covering four main pillars: investments, online safety, economic opportunities and sustainability.

Singapore Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Mr Lawrence Wong at the event. Credit: Google

First, Google reaffirmed its commitment to Singapore as the hub of its Asia-Pacific operations. The company's local headquarters now has over 3,000 employees from just 24 in 2017. It also has invested in technical infrastructure in the country, including a network of data centres, cloud regions and subsea cables. In line with this, the third data centre facility in Singapore, which Google first announced in 2018, is now in operation, bringing its total long-term investment in this segment to US$850 million. The two other data centre facilities are located in Jurong.


"Over the past 15 years, we have been deeply conscious of our responsibility to contribute to Singapore's advancement," said Scott Beaumont, President of Google Asia Pacific. "The commitments we're making today, including the completion of our third data centre facility, reflect our confidence in Singapore's technology leadership for the region and the world."

Credit: Google

Second, Google wants to help make the internet safer for everyone, with the pandemic bringing more people online, including children. The company is partnering with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the Media Literacy Council, in support of the Digital for Life movement, to train 50,000 parents and children on online safety over the next year. The first step of which is to bring the Be Internet Awesome (BIA) curriculum to primary schools. This includes sharing BIA internet safety resources with educators and bringing the Google Online Safety Park to selected schools.


Third, Google wants to create new economic opportunities through training programs and artificial intelligence (AI) partnerships. Part of this is taking the Skills Ignition SG (SISG) program, which was launched in 2020, a step further.


Among the updates is an enhanced traineeship program for 60 Singaporeans to meet current industry demands. Selected trainees will undergo a 12-month full-time training program in Digital Marketing or Professional Cloud Architecture. They'll also be mentored by Google employees and receive a more comprehensive development plan. Apart from this, a fifth certificate in Digital Marketing and e-commerce will be added to Google Career Certificates, and SSIG graduates gain direct access to an expanded employer consortium of up to 37 companies.

Minister for Communications and Information Ms Josephine Teo also attended the event. Credit: Google

Also, Google Cloud and the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG) have signed a partnership agreement to co-create novel AI solutions that will improve how Singaporeans work and live. This effort is SNDGG's National AI Office's first public-private AI partnership with a global technology company.


Lastly, Google is involving itself in Southeast's Asia fight against climate change. The company's philanthropic arm, Google.org, is donating USD$1 million (approx. SGD$1.4 million) to Mandai Nature, a nature conservation nonprofit established by Temasek and Mandai Wildlife Group.


“When tackling the climate crisis, we at Google recognise that our impact can be far greater when we come together with nonprofits, governments and businesses in the shared responsibility to find sustainability solutions," said Ben King, Managing Director at Google Singapore.

 
  • Google hosted the first-ever Google for Singapore event, celebrating the company's 15th anniversary in the city-state.

  • The event was attended by Singapore Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong, who joined the search engine giant as it laid out its plans of how it'll empower today's Singaporeans.

  • One of the initiatives focuses on internet safety, with the pandemic bringing more people online, including children.

  • Google is partnering with the IMDA and the Media Literacy Council, in support of the Digital for Life movement, to train 50,000 parents and children on online safety over the next year. The first step of which is to bring the Be Internet Awesome (BIA) curriculum to primary schools.

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