SINGAPORE — Google said it is committing US$1 million to Mandai Nature, to help address climate crisis in Southeast Asia, as part of activities and initiatives celebrating its 15th anniversary in Singapore.
The grant will come under Google's philanthropic arm, Google.org, to Mandai Nature, which was established by Temasek and Mandai Wildlife Group, the tech giant said at the Google for Singapore event on Tuesday (23 August).
This grant will complement Google's broader collaboration with Singapore on sustainability and technology, including the recent announcement that Google Cloud and the Monetary Authority of Singapore will work together to foster new climate finance solutions.
New data centre in Singapore
Google also announced today that its third data centre facility in Singapore, the construction of which it announced in 2018, has been completed and is in operation. This brings the company's long-term investments in Singapore data centres to US$850 million.
"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," Scott Beaumont, President, Google Asia Pacific, said.
Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong, who attended the event, said that Singapore is well-placed to capitalise on opportunities from South-east Asia’s fast-growing digital economy, even amid global economic and geopolitical challenges.
"We will work with companies like Google to strengthen our tech ecosystem here in Singapore, especially in the areas of skills, innovation and sustainability," said Wong, who is also Singapore's Finance Minister.
Since opening its first office in Collyer Quay in 2007 with 24 people, Google now has 3,000 employees in Singapore — also its Asia-Pacific headquarters — to support the 2.5 billion people online across the region.
Google Singapore country director Ben King declined to give any hiring projections even as he said Singapore and the Asia Pacific region is "incredibly important" for Google.
"We want to be helpful to the ecosystem. We want to work on these talent development initiatives that will benefit many employers around the country as well," King said.
Google is enhancing its skills training programme, Skills Ignition SG (SISG), which was launched in 2020. It will now extend to 60 Singaporeans an enhanced traineeship programme, with 12 months of full-time training in digital marketing or professional cloud architecture, up from nine months previously. So far, the programme has supported more than 5,500 people.
Google will also offer a new certificate in digital marketing and e-commerce under its career certificates initiative. It has expanded its pool of employers willing to consider recruiting SISG graduates to 37 from 16 in January.
Google is also deepening its commitment to Singapore, including partnering with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the Media Literacy Council to train 50,000 parents and children on online safety within the next 12 months.
This will begin with a roving "online safety park", which will visit selected schools including CHIJ Katong and West Grove Primary School this week.
The company also announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Singapore's Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG) and Google Cloud to create AI solutions in areas of finance, healthcare and sustainability, deepen AI capabilities in public service and shape AI governance and ethics.
This is the Singapore National AI Office’s first public-private AI partnership with a global tech company.