Zurich is Google’s most important development center outside the USA. What does Google find so attractive about the City on the Limmat?

Switzerland stands for diversity, innovation, and quality. The very good administration and infrastructure here are further success factors. Google’s Swiss center has maintained its international competitiveness for years – with key services such as Google Search, Google Maps, Google Assistant, or YouTube. Zurich is Google’s largest research and development center outside the USA, employing almost 2,500 staff. We have now rented new offices in Zurich and intend to expand further in the coming years. Google’s services “made in Switzerland” are being developed for the whole world. For this to be successful, an in-depth knowledge of languages and cultures are essential. With some 85 different nationalities, our workforce in Zurich covers this diversity. In addition, numerous employees come from Zurich’s outstanding technological colleges and universities, with which we collaborate very closely in the field of research. For Google, this is also an important argument in favor of Zurich.

How do you, as country manager of Google, promote innovation and start-ups in Zurich and Switzerland?

We see ourselves as part of Swiss society and the Swiss economy. For this reason, we are very actively involved in a wide variety of projects at a local level – in particular for start-ups, among other things as a founder member of the “digitalswitzerland” initiative, or within the framework of the partnership between Google for Entrepreneurs and the Impact Hub Zurich. Swiss start-ups have global access to the Google for Entrepreneurs programs and events, such as the Silicon Valley boot camps or the investor pitches, “Google Demo Days”. The start-up company, Kenzen, which is affiliated with the Impact Hub, is one of the success stories resulting from our involvement.

Patrick Warnking runs the business operations of Google Switzerland since 2011. The German cosmopolitan tells us what characterizes the ICT Center Zurich and why he is actively involved in supporting this sector here.

Which three locations should ICT convention delegates be sure to save as favorites on Google Maps before they come to Zurich, and why?

1) The ETH main building – A symbol of centuries-old tradition, innovation, and the fascination for the sciences.

2) Zurich Airport – In what other metropolis in Europe can you reach the city center in just 10 minutes by train?

3) Top of Üetliberg – Because of the panoramic view over the city on Zurich, the lake, and out towards the Glarus and Graubünden Alps.

Where in Zurich and region would you treat yourself to a day of “digital detox”? Without your mobile phone, PC, tablet – just yourself!

I treat myself to such days regularly – either with my family or when pursuing my hobbies. For years, I have been promoting the activities organized by the “Friends of Ufenau Island”, because this tiny island in Lake Zurich is a wonderful place to detox.