Google is establishing a new Safety Engineering Centre in Dublin, to act as a regional hub for its staff involved in tackling the spread of illegal and harmful content.

The new facility is expected to lead to significant investment and job creation by the technology giant here, with work to begin virtually on setting it up right away.

This will be Google's second such safety engineering centre globally, and follows the opening of a similar facility in Munich in 2019, which employs more than 200 staff.

Its focus is on building tools to protect users' privacy and security, where as the new Dublin centre will be focused on content.

"The new Dublin center will be a regional hub for Google experts working to tackle the spread of illegal and harmful content and a place where we can share this work with policymakers, researchers, and regulators," Google said in a statement.

The announcement comes as Google and other technology firms come under increasing scrutiny over their handling of safety on their platforms.

Google's trust and safety teams for the European region are already based in Dublin.

The company said the new centre will aim to provide a higher level of transparency into the work the search engine is doing to improve internet safety through the use of technology and artificial intelligence.

It is intended that regulators, policymakers, academics and civil society groups will be invited to travel to the physical centre to learn more about Google's work in the area, once the Covid-19 pandemic recedes.

As part of the development, Google has also announced a new partnership with the Irish Research Council that will see it fund research into internet safety.

Google currently has around 20,000 staff globally working in the trust and safety.  

Around 8,000 people are directly and indirectly employed by Google in Ireland.