Google spins off, rebrands think tank

Google is turning its in-house think tank into a technology incubator.

The company announced Tuesday night that Google Ideas, which was founded in 2010, would be renamed Jigsaw. It will exist under Google parent Alphabet, TechCrunch reported.


“As a technology incubator, Jigsaw will be investing in and building technology to expand access to information for the world’s most vulnerable populations and to defend against the world’s most challenging security threats,” said Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Alphabet, in a post on Medium.

Jared Cohen, who previously led the Ideas team, will be the entity’s president. He is a veteran of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSessions accepts 'Fox News Sunday' invitation to debate, Tuberville declines The Memo: Trump lags in polls as crises press Biden savors Trump's latest attacks MORE’s State Department and got Twitter to hold off on taking the site down for maintenance during protests around Iran's 2009 presidential election.

Under his leadership, Google Ideas has worked on projects meant to protect activists and independent sources of media from cyberattacks. Its work has focused on geopolitical issues like organized crime and extremism.

The organization says it employs “engineers, research scientists, product managers, and issue experts.”

The spin-off comes after a corporate restructuring that resulted in the creation of Alphabet. It is likely to allow the company to shift more focus onto individual “moonshots,” or risky projects with transformative potential. It has also given investors a better idea of how Google’s core business is doing.