Google set to unveil new Belfast lab
Search engine giant Google comes to Northern Ireland for the first time today as it unveils a new innovation lab developed with business adviser PwC.
It's the third lab of its kind in the world, and will work with companies to help them use digital technology to improve innovation and develop new ways of working.
Under 100 miles from Google's European headquarters in Dublin, the lab will complement PwC's operations in Belfast, where there are currently more than 1,300 staff.
But the new lab will not bring new jobs and will instead be used by existing PwC staff.
Ashley Unwin, PwC consulting leader for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) said the alliance with Google was a watershed for PwC as it aims to embrace technology to help businesses grow.
"Technology has transformed workplace tools, but workplace processes have largely failed to keep pace; that means organisations are falling far short of their potential to innovate through real time collaboration across functions, departments and devices.
"The PwC and Google Innovation Lab represents an alliance for work where organisations can access the PwC and Google collaborative experience and technology to co-create solutions to their digital and business challenges."
The PwC and Google Innovation Lab is a key element of a new 11,000 sq. technology development in PwC's Waterfront Plaza headquarters in Belfast. It joins other labs in New York and Sydney.
Murali Sitaram, Google's director of global partner strategy and alliances, said:
"We're excited that customers in the UK will be able to benefit from the immersive technology experience at the PwC and Google Innovation Lab in Belfast."
And Paul Terrington, regional chairman of PwC in Northern Ireland, said Google's choice of Belfast was "a huge vote of confidence in Northern Ireland as a location and PwC as a partner".
Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998.