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Cisco announces $100m commitment to accelerate digital innovation in the UK

Cisco announces $100m commitment to accelerate digital innovation in the UK
Digital initiatives aligned to UK government Industrial Strategy ‘Grand Challenges’; including new partnership with UCL to open London AI research centre
Cisco announces $100m commitment to accelerate digital innovation in the UK READ FULL ARTICLE
Cisco announces $100m commitment to accelerate digital innovation in the UK

Cisco announces $100m commitment to accelerate digital innovation in the UK

July 19, 2018
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  • Country Digital Acceleration

Digital initiatives aligned to UK government Industrial Strategy ‘Grand Challenges’; including new partnership with UCL to open London AI research centre


LONDON, UK – 19thJuly 2018 – Cisco today announced a $100m commitment to help accelerate digital innovation in the UK.

Aligned to the UK’s Industrial Strategy, the commitment will support partnership with industry, government and academia across the nation.

As one of the first initiatives to be announced, Cisco and University College London (UCL) will partner to open one of the world’s largest Artificial Intelligence research centres, with a focus on addressing industry challenges and developing AI talent in the UK.

Prime Minister Theresa May said: "The decision by Cisco to make such a significant commitment to digital innovation across the UK is welcome news and is a vote of confidence in our Modern Industrial Strategy. 

“I particularly welcome the announcement of the new AI research centre in partnership with UCL. Research has shown that AI could add £232bn to the UK economy by 2030 and developments like this will help with our ambition to put the UK at the forefront of the AI and data revolution."

Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright said:“The UK has become the natural destination in Europe for the largest and most innovative tech companies to operate and invest. Cisco's strong commitment to the UK highlights we have the ambition, research excellence and regulatory environment for world-leading firms to develop the innovations that will change people's lives for the better."

“Technology is permeating everything we do, not only opening up new markets, but creating more opportunities for individuals, businesses, and countries. Cisco is committed to driving innovation in the UK and to our continued partnership with the UK government through our Country Digital Acceleration programme. We believe that the UK’s expertise in AI and its commitment to making sure future innovators have the right digital skills will help ensure the nation’s citizens are well-positioned to capture the opportunity ahead.” – Chuck Robbins, Chairman and CEO, Cisco

With great ambition to be a leading digital nation, today the UK ranks fifth in the world based on seven key factors that impact a nation’s ability to embrace digital - including infrastructure, technology adoption, skills, basic human needs, business and government investment and start-up environment (Gartner & Cisco). With a proven link between digital readiness and GDP, digital can help improve everything from public services to national productivity. 

The UK government’s Industrial Strategy outlines four ‘Grand Challenges’ aligned to some of the greatest issues facing society, which today, Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) programme is committing to help address:


  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the data economy – Cisco and UCL today announced a partnership to support the UK’s ambition to be a leader in AI, with the opening of an Artificial Intelligence Centre in London to house 200+ UCL researchers and academics. 
  • The centre, which is set to open its doors later this year, will be one of the largest global facilities for training AI masters students and will look to address opportunity in areas such as healthcare, drug discovery, transport and commerce.
  • On the announcement, UCL President and Provost, Professor Michael Arthur said: “It’s wonderful to renew our partnership with Cisco and work together to upskill the UK in machine learning and artificial intelligence. I’m particularly looking forward to opening the new AI Centre in the coming months to position us as a sector leader in computer science.”
  • Ageing society – Announced earlier this week, in an industry-government partnership, Cisco will lead a project to create a sustainable business model for investment in digital inclusion for the UK. The project aims to address issues of loneliness, social exclusion and pressures on public services.
  • Future of Mobility – With new initiatives in rail and road, including projects to further the UK’s position as a leader in connected and autonomous vehicles; addressing key challenges in cyber security and connectivity. And the commercialisation of Project SWIFT, initially proven to provide the fastest, most reliable Wi-Fi on trains in Scotland, to support connected experiences on trains in the UK.
  • Clean Growth – With new partnerships to address the potential for digital in the energy sector; including projects to address new business models and challenges stalling innovation in the industry today.


For nearly 30 years, Cisco has helped to connect the UK. With nearly every Internet connection in the UK touching Cisco technology, organisations of all shapes and sizes rely on Cisco’s secure, intelligent technology to run their businesses.

In the last decade, Cisco has committed over $1.5bn in digital and innovation investment and projects in the UK, initially through a programme announced in 2011to create an innovation legacy following the London Olympic games. In 2015, the UK was one of the first governments with whom Cisco made a commitment to help accelerate digital outcomes for the nation through its CDA programme. Cisco’s CDA strategy is a long-term partnership with government, industry and academia to help deliver real outcomes faster and more effectively for the nation. 




Notes to editors:


The first phase of the CDA programme saw initiatives to help further the government’s Digital Strategy in the following ways:

1. Building world-class digital infrastructure for the UK.

Proving new business models for investment in infrastructure with major initiatives in UK infrastructure for the benefit of individuals, business and society:

  • Project SWIFT- in partnership with ScotRail - to place high-speed Wi-Fi on trains between Edinburgh and Glasgow in a commercially sustainable model for the benefit of commuters, operators and businesses
  • 5G RuralFirst- a government funded initiative to help close the digital divide and prove the business case for investment in connectivity for rural communities, initially trialled in Orkney, Shropshire and Somerset.


2. Digital skills and inclusion – giving everyone access to the digital skills they need.

Supported by CDA, Cisco made a withan additional quarter of a million people through Cisco programmes by 2020.  In the 20 years since launch, the Cisco Networking Academy has partnered with educational institutions to open 330 academies throughout the UK which have helped train 240,000 people. As part of the new commitment, Cisco has launched a programme to work with libraries, helping make digital skills training accessible at the heart of the community. Over 200 libraries have signed up to make courses such as ‘Intro to cyber-security’ and the basics of getting connected available.


3. Making the UK the best place to start and grow a digital business.

Since 2011, Cisco has been creating a national network for innovation in the UK; CDA has enabled the , Mi-IDEA, a collaborative innovation space in the heart of Manchester’s innovation district in partnership with Manchester Science Partnerships. Cisco’s UK innovation programme has helped over 500 startups raise over $80m in funding, with 50 of those incubated in one of Cisco’s innovation centres.


4. Deliver innovation to help every business become digital.

Under the umbrella of CDA, Cisco is driving innovation in business and industry with projects such as AI-SAFE (Artificial Intelligence to support physical security), the Smart Mobility Living Lab (connected autonomous vehicles on the streets in London) and partnership in the Power Networks Demonstration Centre to help drive innovation in the utilities industry. Cisco is also a founding partner in initiatives to help solve the productivity challenge in business in the UK, including Be the BusinessandMade Smarter.


5. Making the UK the safest place in the world to live and work online

Alongside Cisco’s industry leading security portfolio and threat intelligence, it is working in partnership with government and industry to provide cyber expertise and training in critical national infrastructure and to support initiatives from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), GCHQ and the Internet Watch Foundation. 


6. Maintaining the UK government as a world leader in serving its citizens online

From museums and hospitals to universities, Cisco is helping to transform the way services are delivered by the public sector with the use of digital technologies. Cisco recently announcedinitiatives and recommendations for museums and the cultural sector.


7. Data – unlocking the power of data in the UK economy and improving public confidence in its use

As the lead industry partner of CityVerve, the UK’s smart city demonstrator based in Manchester, Cisco’s Platform of Platforms has created a model to unlock the power of data, making a data driven city a reality. To date, there have been 3 million requests for data from 140 different data sets through the platform which supports the creation of applications for the benefit of those who live and work in the city. 


About Cisco

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide technology leader that has been making the Internet work since 1984. Our people, products, and partners help society securely connect and seize tomorrow’s digital opportunity today. Discover more at thenetwork.cisco.com and follow us on Twitter at @Cisco.

Cisco and the Cisco logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cisco and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. A listing of Cisco's trademarks can be found at www.cisco.com/go/trademarks. Third-party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship. 


About UCL (University College London)

UCL was founded in 1826. We were the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, the first to open up university education to those previously excluded from it, and the first to provide systematic teaching of law, architecture and medicine. We are among the world's top universities, as reflected by performance in a range of international rankings and tables. UCL currently has over 39,000 students from 150 countries and over 12,500 staff. Our annual income is more than £1 billion.

www.ucl.ac.uk| Follow us on Twitter @uclnews| Watch our YouTube channel YouTube.com/UCLTV



Amy Lucas

Public Relations, Cisco



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