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 ClintonOvernight Defense — Presented by Raytheon — First lady's office pushes for ouster of national security aide | Trump taps retired general as ambassador to Saudis | Mattis to visit border troops | Record number of female veterans to serve in Congress Election Countdown: Lawsuits fly in Florida recount fight | Nelson pushes to extend deadline | Judge says Georgia county violated Civil Rights Act | Biden, Sanders lead 2020 Dem field in poll | Bloomberg to decide on 2020 by February What midterm exit polls tell us about 2020 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.