Romania, EMEA’s largest smartwatch development centre

Google has announced that the Fitbit development centre in Bucharest employs around 300 people and is the largest development centre for smart watches and wristbands in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region. The information was made public after the company unveiled its new office in Bucharest, located near the historic centre in the Unirii View building.

Fitbit employees in Romania are working on operating systems for the company’s smartwatches, apps (such as the electrocardiogram app) and services, which are also used in smartphones. There are also specialists in cloud and artificial intelligence.

“The innovation born in the local centre will fuel technology used in all corners of the world,” said Elisabeta Moraru, Country Manager of Google Romania.

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After taking over Fitbit, Google has grown to more than 350 employees in the local market. The company officially entered Romania 12 years ago, when it had just a few employees working in a co-working space in Bucharest.

Sense 2, one of the next-generation fitness devices in Fitbit’s offering.

The giant also revealed, on the occasion of its move to a new headquarters, that it offers more than 30 courses in Romania – in digital marketing, coding, online safety and career development – as part of Google’s Digital Workshop programme. The company has nine hubs in Romania where it offers education and consultancy, and these are located in major university centres.

The courses have been attended by over 500,000 people, online and offline. At the same time, more than 10,000 local entrepreneurs have received advice from the company.

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Romania to have artificial intelligence hub

The Minister of Research, Innovation and Digitisation, Sebastian Burduja, was present at the inauguration of the new office. He revealed that our country will open an artificial intelligence hub, in which the government is investing 50 to 60 million euros. The project is not new, having first been announced in 2020, but for a while it was not a priority for the government due to the pandemic.

According to Burduja, the government hopes to attract AI talent to Romania, including from abroad. “For us, artificial intelligence is a zero priority,” said the minister, who added that our country was lagging behind in this field.

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