Google plans to reveal details soon of its London-based Campus project, which will support local technology start-ups and stimulate the online growth of UK businesses.
Matt Brittin, vice president of Northern and Central Europe for Google, confirmed the company's plans for Campus during a talk at the Digital London conference on Tuesday. The project will be based at 4-5 Bonhill Street in Shoreditch, London, near 'silicon roundabout'.
"We'll be opening shortly a building we're calling Campus. It's seven storeys of start-ups — the biggest single start-up location, or building, in Europe is the aim," Brittin said. "We haven't done this anywhere else in the world, so it's an experiment."
Google will be working with other start-up initiatives, such as TechHub, Seedcamp and Springboard, on the project to "help reach critical mass", Brittin said.
"We're trying to see what the right ways are that we can stimulate growth online," he said. "If we can do that, it's good for internet businesses like ours but also for the domestic economy, good for the user. Ultimately it's good for everybody."
Brittin was reluctant to give further details on the project before its official announcement "in a few weeks".
He would not say exactly what form of support the start-ups will receive, but he did say that the idea is to "cross-fertilise their ideas" and that they will receive some support or guidance from Google engineers where necessary. Other details are still being hammered out, according to Brittin.
"We're working with partners and others to try to figure out what would be a good programme of activity to do. But absolutely we'll be having a presence, running events and educating," he said.
"We'll be trying a lot and see what has the biggest impact, so to an extent it's an experiment, but quite a large-scale experiment," he added.
Google has signed a deal to relocate its UK headquarters to Kings Cross, as part of the redevelopment of wasteland in the area, according to a report in the Evening Standard last week. The company will move its offices from Victoria to five new buildings behind the station in 2016, when its current lease ends, the report said.
*Article updated to reflect the precise location of the Campus building within London