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Google opens new Research Center in Zürich
The Google Europe Development Center
SmilS




msg:202178
 11:47 am on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

In December Google had announced that opens new Research Center in Zurich. That will be the second Research and Development Center outside of the USA. Neue Zuericher Zeitung (NZZ) from 28 Januar- in German:
[nzz.ch...]

 

Brett_Tabke




msg:202179
 12:54 pm on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thank you SmilS, and welcome to WebmasterWorld.

Can someone post us a loose translation?

zgb999




msg:202180
 1:02 pm on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

According to the article Google wants to ensure to get the potential of talented information scientists and other scientists, who prefer working in Europe instead of the US.

As in the case of Bangalore this step doesn't mean an outsourcing but an expansion.

The Research Center shall open in spring.

The interview was done with Urs Hölzle, Vice President for Operations at Google.

heini




msg:202181
 1:08 pm on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

European R&D centre to be opened this spring in Zürich. In order to better profit from the human resources in Europe Google has decided to open the second R&D outside of the US, following Bangalore in India.
Urs Hölzle, Vice President of Operations says Europe has many very talented computer specialists who for a variety of reasons can not be employed to the US. Hölzle added this didn't mean outsourcing but rather expansion.

Then there's some general stuff about Google.

zgb999




msg:202182
 1:12 pm on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

My personal opinion is that it might not only be a step to get new staff in Europe.

After more and more complaints about spam in Europe (one German search portal even decided to move away from Google and gave as one of the reasons that there was too much spam in German Google results) they might target other European languages better.

In Switzerland most people speak German, English and French which happen to be the most important languages for Europe. Many even speak a fourth language. So it might get tougher for people that don't follow the rules in Europe.

[edited by: zgb999 at 1:14 pm (utc) on Jan. 28, 2004]

SlyOldDog




msg:202183
 1:14 pm on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Why Zurich? It's expensive and there is zero unemployment. It's not as if there is a wealth of programming talent there either. What talent there is, is earning $$$ working for banks. They should have picked a bigger city like Berlin where there are lots of unemployed programmers available for a reasonable price.

There probably won't be too many US workers complaining about this move.

Sinner_G




msg:202184
 1:15 pm on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

>Then there's some general stuff about Google.

Among which the fact that many think the IPO will take place before the end of April because of tax issues.

As to what people they look for, they have a special Zurich jobs page on http*//www.google.ch/intl/en_ch/jobs/.

I'm off to buy the C/C++ And Java books for Dummies ;).

<added>SlyOldDog, first, the unemployment is unfortunately not zero but more like 5-10% and there ARE lots of programmers who would be more than happy to work for Google. Plus many Germans will have no problem moving to Zurich (better wages and less taxes but still same language). And Switzerland happens to be in a geographically central position in Europe and very well served by transport by air and rail. Oh, and it's a nice place to live, too :).</added>

[edited by: Sinner_G at 1:21 pm (utc) on Jan. 28, 2004]

zgb999




msg:202185
 1:18 pm on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Apart from the reasons I mentioned above Zurich is more in the center of (old) Europe than Berlin. Also other companies like IBM have their European reasearch labs in Switzerland (which gave them quite a few nobel prices...).

Usually there are many reasons for such a decision.

zgb999




msg:202186
 1:23 pm on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

"the European engineering center will focus on improving our language-specific offerings in ways that will benefit all of our global services, while ensuring that Google's usefulness in each of the major European languages is unsurpassed."
[google.ch...]

percentages




msg:202187
 1:23 pm on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Zürich is a very odd choice. I figure there are reasons way below the surface on this one. ;)

SlyOldDog




msg:202188
 1:32 pm on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Taxes being one of them.

Switzerland is very corporation freindly on the tax front.

Hey - don't get me wrong guys. I love Switzerland. I even worked there for a while and earned the best money in my life.

But whilst I was there I did note the total lack of dynamism. You are not even allowed to work after certain hours by law.

A friend of mine was questioned by police for being in the office at 10pm!

tedster




msg:202189
 1:32 pm on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Little tidbit at the end:

In the meantime, most of their former competitors entered into history -- all those unsuccessful Dotcom companies that contributed to the bursting of the Silicon Valley Internet bubble. However, in the past financial year Google reported a taxable income of $900 million, which in the estimate of various experts, amounts to a clear profit of approximately $350 million.

globay




msg:202190
 1:33 pm on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

They should have picked a bigger city like Berlin where there are lots of unemployed programmers available for a reasonable price.

That is indeed quite an interesting move from Google, but I doubt that they rely on unemployed programmers. They are more looking for high quality programmers and might work together with the ETH, one of the best universities in Europe.

musicales




msg:202191
 1:34 pm on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Zürich is a very odd choice.

focus on improving our language-specific offerings

Put these to together and you may have the answer. Zurich is in the heart of Europe and has close access to native speakers in all the major European languages.

[edited by: musicales at 1:47 pm (utc) on Jan. 28, 2004]

Sinner_G




msg:202192
 1:35 pm on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

>A friend of mine was questioned by police for being in the office at 10pm!

He must have done something strange, if I had the police every time I work after 10 pm, I'd know the whole Zurich Police Department by now. :)

As for the lack of dynamism, I'm doing my best not to take this personally ;).

Seriously, I also believe the tax issue is probably the foremost reason Zurich was chosen.

ds98127




msg:202193
 3:00 pm on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

8% corporate tax compared to as high as 35% in upper slabs in other places ..multi lingual country...
btw i heard the number of unemployed programmers in zurich area is over 15,000 ( yes that is huge for swiss ) ..the important thing is how many of these are the math driven crazynuts ..very few i doubt.
btw that take on noble prizes from ibm lab in zurich ...(was that sarcasm driven? ) would love info on that one...

glengara




msg:202194
 3:19 pm on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

*8% corporate tax compared to as high as 35%*
Pure coincidence I'm sure, but it's 12.5% in Ireland ;-)

sherwoodseo




msg:202195
 3:49 pm on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Zurich has a lot of pluses. Switzerland is tri-lingual. Sure, there's some local dialect variation, but it's still an ideal base for language-specific research.

Although the center is for R+D, there's also a sales component that's beneficial. There was a very decent search conference in Zurich last year, with good attendance from local search marketers, plus an assortment of firms in Germany, France etc.

And yes, Zurich is cool, and a large chunk of the city speaks English. (so, make that quadri-lingual)

ds98127




msg:202196
 4:13 pm on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

ahh..i thought they spoke english in ireland .. :-)
i was referring to
a-)german corporate tax of 25% plus the business tax levied by municipality...they did not go to zurich
b-) french corporate tax effective around 35%

they did not go to switzerland for programming or knowledge as much as for presence in other language markets ....

eth incidentally ranks around 105 in global rankings (career dynamo..no idea how credible that is )... is it really the best europe got ...?has a written exam that is in german i believe ..

could an acess to a financial markets in switzerland by having a presence there be a reason.. (now this is a wild one )
cheers
niko

zgb999




msg:202197
 5:27 pm on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

"that take on noble prizes from ibm lab in zurich ...(was that sarcasm driven? ) would love info on that one..."

I did a search on Google:

Nobel prizes at IBM Research Laboratory Rüschlikon (near Zurich)
1982 Kenneth G. Wilson: Physics (1979-80 in Rüschlikon)
1986 Heinrich Rohrer: Physics
1986 Gerd Binning: Physics
1987 Karl Alexander Müller: Physics
1987 J. Georg Bednorz: Physics

No fewer than 113 Nobel Prize winners stand in relation to Switzerland. The most famous of them is Albert Einstein, citizen of Zurich...

bird




msg:202198
 5:38 pm on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

btw that take on noble prizes from ibm lab in zurich ...(was that sarcasm driven? ) would love info on that one...

No need for sarcasm here, Zurich is a very attractive place for researchers of all kinds. Binning and Rohrer [nobel.se] received one for their work on electron microscopes in 1996[/url], Bednorz and Müller [nobel.se] in 1997 for pioneering high temperature superconduction.

All in all, Zurich has quite an impressive list:

2002, Chemistry, Prof. Dr. K. Wüthrich, ETH Zurich
1996, Medicine, Rolf Zinkernagel, University of Zurich
1991, Chemistry, Richard Ernst, ETH Zurich
1987, Physics, Georg Bednorz + Alexander Müller, IBM Zurich Research Laboratory
1986, Physics, Gerd Binning + Heinrich Rohrer, IBM Zurich Research Laboratory
1975, Chemistry, Vladimir Prelog, ETH Zurich
1949, Medicine, Walter Rudolf Hess, University of Zurich
1939, Chemistry, Leopold Ruzicka, ETH Zurich
1937, Medicine, Paul Karrer, University of Zurich
1913, Chemistry, Alfred Werner, University of Zurich

And that's only the people who actually worked in Zurich at the moment when they received the price. Since Nobel prices are often awarded decades after the relevant works have been published, this is misleading. Recipients who either studied, researched, or lectured in Zurich at some time in their career include Wilhelm Konrad Röntgen, Albert Einstein, Wolfgang Pauli, and Felix Bloch.

eth incidentally ranks around 105 in global rankings (career dynamo..no idea how credible that is)

Recent rankings [ed.sjtu.edu.cn] have the ETH [ethz.ch] as nr. 25 worldwide, nr. 5 in Europe, and best in Switzerland. The University of Zurich [unizh.ch] is nr. 9 in Europe, and second place in Switzerland.

So we have:
- Two world class universities, both with world class CS research
- A number of research labs from other international corporations
- Relatively low corporate taxes (which may or may not be relevant for a research lab)
- People who speak several languages almost by default.
- Extremely high quality of living (cost of living is balanced by high wages)
- Located at the very center of Europe (east and west) with excellent travel connections by land and air

Not sure if they could use someone like me, or I might consider going back to my exotic little home country... ;)

ds98127




msg:202199
 12:17 am on Jan 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

knew that switzerland had the highest number of noble prizes per capita ..and was thus confused with that ibm lab statement ... thanks for resolving it guys... plus on the eth rankings..i think it is a great uni for computer science and that dynamo ranking was misleading ...
well when they make a guy do a 5 yeas course for fitting a bulb i really have no doubts on the calibre..
Well they now have an NCCR and a COME to push research... and billions of swiss francs with it..
worked in a COME project and apart from work the best part was the conferences in Interlaken..walking down to office with mountains so close ... switzerland is a dream ... i bet may be google wants to reward its engineers by posting them there.. only if the shops did not close at 6pm i would have been spared so much trouble so many times at migros..sigh

swizz




msg:202200
 10:18 am on Jan 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Unpartially speaking, I think they choosed the best city ;)

dirkz




msg:202201
 11:24 am on Jan 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

> However, in the past financial year Google reported a taxable income of $900 million, which in the estimate of various experts, amounts to a clear profit of approximately $350 million.

Does this mean that they paid $550 million on taxes?

dirkz




msg:202202
 11:31 am on Jan 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

> The most famous of them is Albert Einstein, citizen of Zurich...

He worked in Zurich in the patent office (full time job) and wrote his first important papers in the free minutes he had (on thermo dynamics I think).

Impressive.

dirkz




msg:202203
 11:34 am on Jan 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

> You are not even allowed to work after certain hours by law.

SlyOldDog, are you 100% sure about this?

percentages




msg:202204
 11:37 am on Jan 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

>Does this mean that they paid $550 million on taxes?

No.

Annualized revenues were estimated at $900 million. Annualized pretax profits were estimated at $350 million. How much corporation tax they actually paid is tricky to know unless have inside knowledge, but I doubt it was very much.

georgeek




msg:202205
 11:43 am on Jan 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Top ten countries for Nobel prizes (prizes/head of population)

1 Iceland
2 Sweden
3 Luxembourg
4 Switzerland
5 Denmark
6 Britain
7 Ireland
8 Norway
9 Netherlands
10 Germany

dirkz




msg:202206
 11:23 am on Jan 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

> Annualized revenues were estimated at $900 million. Annualized pretax profits were estimated at $350 million.

Thanks for that. I oversaw they said $900 million 'income', which is probably without expenses.

ds98127




msg:202207
 2:12 pm on Jan 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

dirkz : There is an einstein house in bern too ..

www is so popular :-) google loves it ..i searched for highest noble prizes per capita to cross check and www was on top ...my own statement there ..
As for the noble prize per capita list I had it drilled down my head by swiss ..damn and they r so sweet i believed them :-)
on an EU site I found that "Swiss State Secretary for Science and Research Charles Kleiber stated that Switzerland had the highest number of Nobel Prizes per capita "
me confused again ..
cheers
Niko

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