Earlier this month, Google made a surprising announcement: it would no longer be in charge of its own destiny. Well, sort of. See, Google launched a new company called Alphabet to oversee it, and Alphabet will also preside over other companies.
In essence, “Google” will only be used as a brand for Internet-related pursuits, while the company’s more experimental efforts will be spun off into their own companies under the Alphabet umbrella. And as promised, the first of those moves was just announced today.
Remember when Google said it was making smart contact lenses that could monitor the blood sugar levels of diabetic wearers? How about Google’s initiative to extend the human lifespan through medical advances? Unsurprisingly, those endeavours and others will be folded into a new Alphabet company called Life Sciences.
The division is being spun off from Google X, with team leader Andy Conrad to serve as CEO. The Life Sciences group will also include projects focussed on cancer-seeking nanoparticles and a baseline study of the human body and genome. All told, the company aims to improve health and medicine through its vast resources and surely immense talent.
Aside from the structural change, it sounds like business as usual for the team. But as the Alphabet announcement suggested, splitting these efforts away from Google should allow more focus, along with the potential for more risk – and reward, too.
“They’ll continue to work with other life sciences companies to move new technologies from early stage R&D to clinical testing – and, hopefully – transform the way we detect, prevent, and manage disease,” writes Alphabet president (and Google co-founder) Sergey Brin. “The team is relatively new but very diverse including software engineers, oncologists, and optics experts. This is the type of company we hope will thrive as part of Alphabet and I can’t wait to see what they do next.”