Google Ideas, a lab that has existed within Google for the past few years and occasionally announced initiatives like Project Shield and uProxy, is now a standalone technology incubator under Alphabet.
Alphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt announced the changes today in a Medium post.
“The team’s mission is to use technology to tackle the toughest geopolitical challenges, from countering violent extremism to thwarting online censorship to mitigating the threats associated with digital attacks,” Schmidt wrote. He added that Jared Cohen, who ran Google Ideas, will be president of Jigsaw.
Like Alphabet standalone company Verily, Google Ideas — er, Jigsaw — has worked with several partners, and the partner list on the Jigsaw website includes the Gen Next Foundation, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, the Peace Research Institute Oslo, the Igarapé Institute, BBG, the Comparative Constitution Project, the Indigo Trust, the IC2 Institute, the University of Texas, International Idea, the Polaris Project, and La Strada International.
As for the name, Schmidt, who alongside Cohen started Google Ideas in 2010, has an explanation.
“For one thing, the new name acknowledges that the world is a complex puzzle of physical and digital challenges. For another, it reflects our belief that collaborative problem-solving yields the best solutions,” Schmidt wrote.
It’s interesting to see Google Ideas live on because it has not garnered as many headlines as, say, Google X (now referred to as just X). But it seems that Google Ideas produced enough good ideas to keep it going, albeit with a new brand to go under the new Alphabet umbrella.