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Search giant Google will open a R&D centre in Zurich, Switzerland to tap into European know-how, company vice-president of engineering Urs Hölzle told Swiss newspaper Neue Zurcher Zeitung, Wednesday (Jan 28).

It is going to be Google's second R&D base outside the US. Another R&D centre has opened in the southern Indian city of Bangalore. Google picked Zurich as it is at the heart of Europe and offers high living standards and salaries and simple procedures for visa applications. Google’s announcements triggered many positive reactions, according to today’s Neue Zurcher Zeitung (story in German).

Hölzle, who is originally from Zurich, says the company will bring the best computer specialists in Europe to Switzerland. The centre would concentrate on software development, with a special emphasis on foreign language processing. According to some reports, Google ponders a partnerschip with The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, home to 18.000 students and researchers, but Hölzle says that hasn’t been discussed yet. ®

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