Google CEO calls on European governments to invest more in tech

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Google's CEO Larry Page claims European governments are not doing enough to invest in new technologies and, as a result, risk losing their competitive edge.

Page told the Financial Times that innovation is driven by people being amibitious, not by technological advances.

"Why can't we get more of these things going in Europe? Like celebrating technology, having a friendly environment for it, having more investment in science and a basic understanding and entrepreneurialism and making money and moving quickly and [the] kind of the things that are good about Silicon Valley," he said.

Although he explained there was investment in technology taking place, all the funds are coming from investors rather than public bodies like governments. He thinks around 50 investors are responsible for most of the world's groundbreaking technological breakthroughs and the government should take more of an interest in funding things publicly.

"We're probably underinvested as a world in that," he said.

Page went on to explain how 100 years from now, many of the problems we have today could have been solved by humans, given the investment in both technology and the skills, which he believes are far behind what they should be.

Google is playing a big part in getting ideas made into reality, he said. The company is focusing its attention on the 'fringes' of technology, which, he explained, are ideas that aren't getting attention but would significantly change lives and are relatively simple to produce.

He used Google's Calico biotech initiative to explain how things that will have a profound effect on everyday life are being innovated. However, there's still room for more investment from governments around the world.

"We do benefit from the fact that once we say we're going to do it, people believe we can do it, because we have the resources," he said. "Google helps in that way: there aren't many funding mechanisms like that."

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.